President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Seele, I am very happy that this time we are meeting in Moscow.
The company that you head, OMV, has been our long-time and very reliable partner. The first contracts with your company were signed 50 years ago, and our current contract is valid until 2028.
Austria is an important consumer of Russian gas, and it also acts as a major gas-transit country. In all, 30 billion cubic metres of gas are transported via Austria, mostly in cooperation with your company. Austria has turned into a major European and global hub: I think every energy company in the world must be aware of Baumgarten.
In this connection, I would like to note that we are satisfied with our cooperation, and we are ready to expand our ties for the benefit of our countries, Europe and Russia in the hope that we will further this cooperation.
OMV CEO Rainer Seele (retranslated): Mr President, thank you very much for these kind words.
Indeed, we are set to celebrate our golden wedding anniversary next year, and I would like to say that the marriage between OMV and Gazprom is thriving. I would be very happy if you were able to attend the celebrations marking our golden wedding anniversary in Vienna and to greet us together with the Federal President. As you know, the people of Austria have recently elected a new Federal President. He sends his regards to you and is looking forward to meeting with you.
Fifty years after we signed our marriage contract, it is surprising that our companies, OMV and Gazprom, are still so much in love with one another that we want to buy even more gas from Gazprom. This is why Alexei Miller and I are planning to discuss the extension of the current contracts and additional gas purchases.
I can only confirm that over the past 50 years the deliveries of Russian gas have always been guaranteed and Russia has always been an honest partner. Now we are determined to step up this cooperation. And it was a great honour for us to come to this wonderful country as investors.
We are always very happy to visit you. I know the Siberian region very well. People living there have left a very profound impression on me. Siberia is very cold for nine months each year but the people of Siberia have truly warm hearts. I always enjoy coming here. The same can be said of all the people of your country, and this is precisely why I’m happy to implement our investment projects here.
We have teamed up with Gazprom to launch joint gas production in Siberia. For this purpose, we intend to jointly build the required infrastructure. Mr Miller and I share the belief that the Nord Stream 2 project is well worth the effort. By the way, we have already scored a major success here because we have managed to secure funding for this project.