International symposium on problems of energy security of countries of North-East Asia underway in Khabarovsk

The international symposium Energy Security and Sustained Development in North-East Asia: Prospects for Cooperation recommenced its work on Wednesday - the problems and prospects of energy links between Russia and the countries of the region are being discussed.

Delegations of Russia, the USA, Japan, China, North and South Koreas and Thailand are participating in the seminar.

According to a RIA Novosti correspondent, the report by vice-president of the Asia-Pacific Energy Research Centre (Japan) Yonghun Jung entitled International Organisations, the Kyoto Protocol and North-East Asia, and that by first vice-chairman of the government of the Khabarovsk Territory Vladimir Popov, The Requirements for Fuel and Energy and the International Projects in the Far East, roused the greatest interest of the participants.

The programme of economic development of the Russian Far East and of the Trans-Baikal area, approved by the government of the Russian Federation, sets the real task of boosting the output of primary energy (first of all due to oil and gas) and turning the Far East into an energy-redundant region. Experts estimate the potential of the rivers of the region at 350-400 billion kilowatt-hours, while the degree of its use now stands at a mere 3.3 percent. It is envisaged to double the degree of gas supply of the Far East through a broader use of natural gas on the territory of Yakutia, in the Khabarovsk Territory, on Sakhalin and in Kamchatka.

But, Popov said, the implementation of this programme requires investment expenditures in excess of 24 billion roubles a year. "Such expenditures can be made only from the funds of the Far East itself and of the federal authorities," Popov said. "For this reason, the programme sets the aim of involving the region into energy cooperation with the countries of North-East Asia".

Yonghun Jung called these figures very interesting and, to carry out projects of cooperation in energy, proposed setting up a regional committee with the participation of representatives of the governments of interested countries and a bank of North-East Asia. But he also emphasised the necessity of research and efforts to protect the natural environment.

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