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Energy security cannot be a bargaining chip at the July G8 summit in St Petersburg : Russian Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko

01.01.70

Energy security cannot be a bargaining chip at the July G8 summit in St Petersburg, Russian Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko has said in an interview to RIA-Novosti.

"The G8 [summit] is not a trading floor. It is a meeting which proposes to assess energy security or energy sector risks not only for the countries which are members of the club but for the whole world in general," Khristenko said.

He went on to add that the policy of producers and consumers of energy resources cannot be based on "energy egoism".

"This is a far too risky policy for the modern world. Everybody feels the factor of energy security most acutely and is trying, on the one hand, to close up and decide everything for themselves, which is impossible. On the other hand, everybody understands that things need to be discussed on a wider platform. Ultimately, it all boils down to the fact that energy strategy and countries'' ensuing policies must be openly presented and must be discussed and coordinated rather than look like strategies for fighting for one's own interests," he said. Khristenko went on to add that the above referred to both producers and consumers of energy resources.

"Today everybody is very much concerned about a possible shortage of resources. The world and the market are living in the expectation of this shortage. To a certain degree, this is borne our by the price trend, not just by military and political circumstances. From the point of view of consumers, everything is clear. At the same time, in order to remove producers'' risks, the demand must be made transparent," Khristenko said.

In his opinion, it is necessary to understand and to accurately assess the policy of consuming countries: "In the long term, consumers'' policy must be transparent and clear for us because in each country things are different: the Europeans are driven by one paradigm of managing the demand, the Americans - by another. In that respect the term ''transparency'' is a no less significant factor for the market than stability."

Khristenko also called for more clarity of data on crude oil and petroleum product reserves to reduce the influence of the speculative factor on the market. "The whole chain, from subsoil reserves to a petrol station, must be open from the point of view of the policies of the key players - energy producers and consumers - because this is what the minimization of risks is about," he said.

Khristenko is satisfied that Russia is engaged in an energy dialogue on the above with the European Union. This dialogue will be continued at the Russia-EU summit in the end of May, before "the St Petersburg G8". No less successful are Moscow's talks with the USA, although Moscow believes that this topic should be discussed globally.

"One can say whatever they want about Russia's role in the global energy world, but it is clear that this cannot be discussed with Russia alone. It should be discussed with OPEC, with other major producers of energy resources as well as with major oil and gas consumers, like China and India because without them this discussion, let alone the development of any solutions, will not lead to anything good and there will be no global security," he concluded.

Expert opinion

Halter Marek

02.12.06

Halter Marek
Le College de France
Olivier Giscard dEstaing

02.12.06

Olivier Giscard dEstaing
COPAM, France
Mika Ohbayashi

02.12.06

Mika Ohbayashi
Institute for Sustainable Energy Poliy
Bill Pace

02.12.06

Bill Pace
World Federalist Movement - Institute for Global Policy
Peter I. Hajnal

01.12.06

Peter I. Hajnal
Toronto University, G8 Research Group