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News // Oil and gas worldwide

German Chancellor Backs Russian Gas Pipeline Projects

30 January 2009 , 12:07Ksenia Kochneva1110
German Chancellor angela Merkel sent a letter to European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso, where she called on the EU to press for European energy companies investing in Russia's highly monopolistic gas sector to be given full rights.

"It is very important that these projects are wanted and supported by all EU states," Merkel wrote in the letter, referring to Russian energy giant Gazprom's Nord Stream and South Stream lines and the EU-backed Nabucco line.

Merkel said these projects were important for diversification of both the sources and routes of gas supply to the European Union following a Russian gas crisis that hit central Europe and the Balkans earlier this month.

Nord Stream would run under the Baltic Sea between Russia and Germany, South Stream would connect Russia to southeast Europe under the Black Sea and Nabucco would pipe gas from Caspian states to western Europe through Turkey.

Upcoming talks on a key partnership agreement between the EU and Russia should also aim "to give our energy suppliers operating in Russia the legal security needed for extraction and production at gas fields," Merkel said.

The European Commission unveiled proposals on Wednesday for 3.5 billion euros of energy projects to cut dependence on Russian gas and boost the economy and Barroso is set to travel to Moscow next month for talks.

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