2 Nov 2010 22:12

Russia urges EU to view Nord Stream, South Stream as strategic projects

MOSCOW. Nov 2 (Interfax) - Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin has called on the European Union to treat the Nord Stream and South Stream gas projects as strategic ones.

"I am urging you to pay attention to these projects. They will certainly enhance both the EU's energy and environmental security. Both projects have a very transparent resource base. We are calling on our European partners to assign strategic status to these two projects," Sechin said at a meeting with European Commissioner for Energy Guenther Oettinger on Tuesday.

Sechin said during the meeting that Nord Stream is being practically implemented and suggested that South Stream would hopefully enter the practical phase soon, Sechin's secretariat said.

Commenting on a recent discussion regarding diversification of Russian energy supplies to Europe, Sechin confirmed that "Russia favors diversification of the routes for transporting energy resources, but at the same time it primarily supports projects that are economically substantiated, efficient, and have a transparent resource base."

Sechin also informed the European commissioner about Russian companies' commitment to foreign projects, such as the recent purchase of a 50% stake in the German company Ruhr Oel. He praised the project as one promoting direct contractual relations with European energy consumers bypassing mediators, which, he said, should also improve the EU's energy security.