Europe's energy market is looking to Russia

The potential of the European market is such that Russian energy companies are going to raise their sales to a new level, and, in a few years, will be competing on equal terms there. As learned by Rosbalt, these views were stated Friday by Francois Lamoureux, general director of the General Directorate of the European Union's Commission on Energy and Transport, at the 'Comparative Analysis of the Energy Strategies of Russia and Europe' conference.

Lamoureux said both sides in the Russian-European dialogue were now principally seeking to work out specific mechanisms to protect investors. He also said a series of longterm contracts are in prospect, including on gas imports. Lamoureux said the most important area for further cooperation was in joint infrastructure projects. 'We have highlighted several major projects that need study and investment. These include the TransBaltic project, which will be given priority,' Lamoureux emphasized.

He singled out ecological problems as among important matters under consideration: in particular, threats from nuclear materials and the transport of oil by sea. Lamoureux noted that 90% of all oil moves by tanker and that Europe is concerned about the safety of those shipments. Another key issue in cooperation is development of the energy efficiency of technology. 'Our strategy is based on a desire to lower fuel costs. We need to bring the positions of Russia and the European Union closer together on global planning of fuel demand,' Lamoureux emphasized.

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