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Marc Franco: Gazprom has no problems in Europe

World

Head of the Moscow office of the European Commission Marc Franco made it clear yesterday that Gazprom need not expect most favored status in Europe.

He said Russian companies have no problems with access on the European market. “There are no restrictions in the proposals of the European Commission on the participation of foreign investors in the production and network transmission of gas and electricity,” Franco told Kommersant. As proof, he provided a list of European companies Gazprom owns shares in.

Today European Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs will explain that to Russian Minister of Industry and Energy Viktor Khristenko, with whom he is meeting as part of International Energy Week in Moscow. Piebalgs and European Commission Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes came up with a package of directives on September 19 to reform the energy market in the European Union that banned companies operating in the EU from combining production and sales of energy resources with their transport. Thus, the list of companies Gazprom owns interests in may shrink.

Khristenko published a letter in the Financial Times in which he urges the EU not “to fear money or to rank it depending on the country of its origin.” He predicts that, if there will be an “energy curtain” around Europe, Russia will “diversify our industrial and energy cooperation by turning to Asian and Pacific countries.” (kommersant.com)

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