Gazprom to set up joint venture in Romania

A Russian-Romanian joint venture with the participation of Russian gas giant Gazprom is expected to be established by the end of the year, Romanian Prime Minister Adrian Nastase said Tuesday following a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov.

Romania is interested in developing direct trade ties with Russia, he said, adding that Romania needs no mediators in gas supplies. He did not elaborate.

Gazprom's desire to participate in the privatization of Romanian gas distribution companies is natural, because it supplies gas to Romania, he noted.

Through this venture, Gazprom plans to sell gas directly to Romanian consumers.

In March, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov said during his visit to Romania that Russian companies might take part in the privatization of Romania's largest companies, including national oil company Petrom, an unspecified smelter and synthetic rubber plant, oil and gas equipment producers and the gas distribution network, the Russia Journal reported.

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