The launch ceremony for the new energy corridor was also attended by Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte and Prime Minister of France Francois Fillon, representing the countries that hold a stake in the Nord Stream pipeline operator, and EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger.
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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Madam Federal Chancellor, Mr Rutte, Mr Fillon,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Today we have gathered for a very significant and very welcome event: we are going to launch the first leg of the Nord Stream gas pipeline, which opens a new stage in our country’s partnership with the European Union. All the earlier speeches are evidence of this.
For the first time Russian gas will be delivered to EU countries directly. The 1,224-km underwater pipeline passes through five economic zones in the Baltic region. Apart from Gazprom, the project involves the largest companies in Germany, the Netherlands, France and other states that have taken a very active part in it. I would like to thank all of them for that.
”For the first time Russian gas will be delivered to EU countries directly. The energy produced from this gas will help to ensure reliable electricity supply to European consumers and thus strengthen energy security and improve the lives of so many people.“
Natural gas from Russia and the energy produced from this gas will help to ensure reliable electricity supply to European consumers and thus strengthen energy security and improve the lives of so many people, which is probably what matters the most to all of us.
The project’s implementation was preceded by a difficult period of negotiations. Matthias Warnig [Managing Director of Nord Stream AG] just mentioned the events of 2005. At that time I was Gazprom Chairman of the Board and I remember discussions about the requirements and different positions. We heard all kinds of opinions voiced at the time but most importantly today everyone can see that this project’s objectives are absolutely viable and economical. We can say with confidence that the new pipeline will be the most advanced in the sector, particularly in terms of its impact on the environment, as we have just seen in the fascinating presentation.
The new pipeline is designed to meet the growing demand for the blue fuel. In the coming years with the launch of its second phase European consumers will receive up to 55 billion cubic metres of Russian gas annually, and this is certainly a very impressive figure. We are confident that the EU economy will overcome all the current difficulties and will post steady growth. Experts estimate that our European friends’ annual demand for gas will increase significantly by 2020: up to 200 billion cubic metres of gas.
”We will continue to consistently increase energy cooperation with our European partners and to attract investment in the production and distribution assets.“
Russia has always meticulously fulfilled its obligations in this area. We believe that this is our most important commitment. Even in the early 1990s, when the Russian economy was experiencing serious problems, we tried to work at full capacity and gas was supplied to Europe without interruption. We will continue to consistently increase energy cooperation with our European partners and to attract investment in the production and distribution assets. I think that this involvement will help minimise the widely-discussed risks of the entire supply chain, from fuel production to supply of electricity to end consumers.
German, French, Dutch and other companies are actively involved in the development of Russian gas fields. We, in turn, are interested in developing a gas distribution infrastructure and in building modern environmentally friendly power generation facilities, including combined-cycle power plants. We hope that our cooperation in this area will not be stalled by artificial barriers, despite certain differences in our approaches that were mentioned earlier. After all, there is and can be no economically viable alternative to this mutually beneficial and long-term cooperation.
I would like to take this opportunity to once again warmly congratulate everyone involved in the pipeline’s construction. It was a big, very difficult and extremely important job. I am sure that our states, Russia and the EU, will have many new and wonderful, mutually beneficial projects in the energy sector and in other areas. We can tackle all the challenges together. We have a great future.
Thank you. I sincerely congratulate all of you.