Russia and the European Union have discussed issues on energy cooperation at a roundtable hosted by the European Parliament. The parties outlined their positions regarding the application of the Third Energy Package by EU countries, formation of a regulatory framework for implementation of cross-border infrastructure projects, and creation of a joint system for reliable gas supplies to European consumers. The Russian representatives called on the EU to sign an agreement on cooperation in implementation of infrastructure projects and development of electric power systems, which would solve the problem of crossing of external borders of the EU by gas transmission infrastructure and create mechanisms for attracting investment in infrastructure projects.
The head of the Russian delegation, Deputy Energy Minister Anatoly Yanovsky, noted the need for a change in the laws and regulatory rules of all EU countries in view of the Third Energy Package.
Philip Lowe, the Director-General of the Energy DG of the European Commission, said that Russia is EU’s most important energy partner, stressing the high degree of reliability in gas supplies to Europe during the cold of the last winter. He commended the “big predictability” of the Nord Stream and South Stream gas transportation projects.
Speaking of the South Stream project, Anatoly Yanovsky, confirmed that all the planned activities, including approval of the route, will be implemented by November 2012, noting at the same time that EU support to this project could facilitate taking the final investment decision. Philip Lowe continued this idea, pointing to the commercial viability of the project. According to him, the Nord Stream and South Stream “improve reliability and security of supplies to Europe”.
According to the Russian side, Europe’s long-term needs for energy supplies will only grow, and hence “there will be enough space for everyone in the large European market”.
In discussing the construction of the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline, Russian representatives drew attention to the unresolved legal status of the Caspian Sea. Yanovsky in this regard noted that attempts by some countries with the support of the European Union to “accelerate” solving this problem are in conflict with international laws.