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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Colleagues, we have a serious matter on the agenda at today’s meeting of the Security Council’s permanent members. I will start with a few remarks. We are here today to discuss energy security and Russia’s energy cooperation with different countries, above all, with Europe.
We view European countries as among our closest partners in this sector. Our relations as an oil and gas supplier to these countries go back a long time now. Overall, we have always taken the position that the existing legal foundation is optimum in nature, solid and sufficient. But a number of recent events prompted my decision to put energy cooperation on the Security Council’s agenda so that our country’s leadership can set the line that our government and big energy market actors will take in their cooperation with Europe in this sector. This is all with regard to the so-called ‘third energy package,’ which is an issue I and my colleagues in the Government Cabinet have repeatedly brought to the European Union leadership’s attention, asking them to consider the consequences that rigid implementation of the rules and procedures it entails would have.
”We view European countries as among our closest partners in energy cooperation. The existing legal foundation is optimum in nature, solid and sufficient. But a number of recent events prompted my decision to put energy cooperation on the Security Council’s agenda so that our country’s leadership can set the line that our government and big energy market actors will take in their cooperation with Europe in this sector. This is all with regard to the so-called third energy package.“
Sadly, a number of recent events have created problems for cooperation in the gas sector. They include normative, contractual, and also organisational issues. I therefore would like to hear today from the energy minister [Sergei Shmatko] and Gazprom CEO [Alexei Miller] on their proposals on how we should go about organising our relations with our European partners, taking into account implementation of the ‘third energy package’ and its rules. Naturally, we will fulfil all existing contracts and respect all of the agreements that have been in place for some time now and have always provided a solid basis for our energy cooperation. But in the interests of energy security, we need at the same time to think about the future.
Energy cooperation is not confined to Europe of course. The so-called ‘southern corridor’ has been the subject of much discussion of late, which is only natural given that individual countries, the European Union, and other partners, are all thinking about how to diversify their energy supplies. But I want to draw to your attention one of the matters we have discussed in the past, and with other colleagues, namely, the Trans-Caspian pipeline that will be laid on the Caspian seabed. This is a rather complex issue that depends directly on the Caspian Sea’s status as an internal sea and requires a coordinated position between all of the countries in the Caspian Summit forum. There are issues of legal status involved here, which we discussed at the last summit of Caspian countries, and also environmental security issues, which we cannot ignore, given what is happening today in the Caspian Sea basin. I hope that our partners, who are currently analysing various energy cooperation options, will also respect all of the earlier agreements.
In any event, the Russian Federation has to set out a position that it can present clearly to our Caspian partners depending on the decisions they make. So, let’s look now at these two energy sector issues.