The project to construct the North-European Gas Pipeline may be merged with the project to exploit the Shtokmanovsky gas condensate field in the Barents Sea. In the future this will to a large extent enable Russia to meet the EU's growing demand for Russian gas. According to the government's information department, this was revealed yesterday in Berlin by Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov at a press conference devoted to the results of his two-day visit to Germany. Kasyanov said that he brought German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder up to date with the pipeline project. German gas concern Ruhrgas has expressed an interest in taking part in the pipeline's construction.
Kasyanov also revealed that at his meeting with Jean Lemierre, the president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, they discussed the question of the EBRD's investment in Vneshtorgbank's capital. According to the Prime Minister, 'the process of investment by the EBRD in Vneshtorgbank will be concluded quickly, and as a result we will see the creation of an effective universal bank in Russia.'
Kasyanov also announced that during his talks with German business representatives he discussed a number of partnership projects for the aviation sector. He added that the most important project was with the European Aerospace Agency. This project involves the manufacture in Russia of components for European aviation systems and requires investment of USD 2.5 billion.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced the termination of diplomatic relations with NATO at a time when US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin ended a meeting in Georgia with his counterpart