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Russia, EU To Create Energy Supply Early Warning System

by Staff Writers
Mafra, Portugal (RIA Novosti) Oct 29, 2007
Russia and the European Union agreed to establish an early warning system to keep track of possible problems with energy supplies from Russia, President Vladimir Putin said on Friday. "During the meeting, stress was placed on the further consolidation of Europe's energy security... We agreed to continue work to establish an early warning mechanism in relation to deliveries and demand for energy from Russia to the EU," Putin told journalists after the EU-Russia summit in Portugal.

Putin proposed holding the next Russia-EU summit in Khanty-Mansiisk, western Siberia, in June 2008. Friday's Portuguese summit was aimed at addressing key energy and trade disputes, along with international issues.

"We are continuing the tradition of meetings with European partners in different Russian regions, and this time we proposed meeting in a dynamically developing region - Siberia, in Khanty-Mansiisk," the Russian leader said.

In August, the EU had intended to convene a group of government experts and representatives of fuel producers and consumers from EU member states to discuss Russian energy supply reliability, shortly after Russian energy giant Gazprom threatened to cut its natural gas deliveries to Belarus by 45% over the country's outstanding debt.

However, Minsk agreed to Gazprom's demands at the last minute, drawing on government reserves to pay the debt in full.

Gazprom's threat had sparked fears that Belarus could tap gas from pipelines transiting Russian gas to Europe, in a replay of a bitter price dispute with Ukraine in early 2006 which affected supplies to European consumers. The dispute raised concerns in Europe over excessive dependence on Gazprom as a supplier.

Source: RIA Novosti

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