Russia to retain state control over Gazprom

Russia intends to retain state control over its gas pipeline system and Gazprom, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced in his closing speech at Russian-German consultations in Yekaterinburg today. He added that Russia deemed unacceptable the requirements of the European Commission under which Russia should provide Europe with access to its gas pipeline system in order to join the WTO. According to the presidential press service, Putin stressed that the Russian gas pipeline system was "an offspring of the Soviet Union", and only Russia was in a position to keep it running even if some of its facilities were outside Russia. "We will not segment Gazprom", Putin declared.

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