Russia, Austria stress concern about energy security

10:40, April 25, 2010      

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Visiting Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin together with his Austrian counterpart Werner Faymann stressed on Saturday that energy security is the common concerns of the two countries.

In the afternoon, an agreement on the gas pipeline project " South Stream" between Russia and Austria was also signed by Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko and Austrian Economics Minister Reinhold Mitterlehner, providing the legal framework that a section of the project would be implemented in Austria.

The cooperation agreements between the two energy companies were also signed by the head of the Russian gas monopoly Gazprom, Alexei Miller and the Austrian oil and gas company OeMV on Saturday.

At a press conference after his talks with Austrian prime minister, Putin said "I am very pleased to be able to sign these two important documents."

He also admitted that the gas pipeline project would certainly be the competition of the planned Nabucco pipeline of Austria, which was also supported by the EU. However, "we will implement this project in any case," he said.

Russian gas pipeline project "South Stream" has its length of 900 km with a budget of 25 billion euros, which will be constructed by the Russian Gazprom and the Italian company Eni SpA.

It will go into operation in 2015 and cover with an annual capacity of 63 billion cubic meters, or about 35 percent of Russian gas exports to Europe.

"South Stream" is constructed for the purpose of going round Ukraine as a transit country of Russian gas exports to the South European countries including Italy.

Russia has already signed the related agreements with the transit countries of "South Stream" such as Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Greece, Slovenia and Croatia.

Since Austria is one of the transit countries of the pipeline project, Russia also needs to sign the agreement with Austria. As a pipeline transit country, Austria is also expected to get gas supply from Russia.

Austrian Prime Minister Faymann said at the press conference that 70 percent of Austrian demand on natural gas is from Russia. The natural gas is an important supplement to meet Austrian demand on energy.

Immediately after his arrival in Vienna on Saturday, Putin and Faymann held a closed-door meeting, discussing the "key theme" of energy security.

According to the schedule, Putin will also meet with Austrian President Heinz Fischer on Saturday and attend a wreath-laying ceremony for memorizing the Red Army on Sunday in Vienna.

Putin is on a visit to Vienna for the Judo European Championship 2010 that is held in Vienna. Putin, a black belt, was also elected the Honorary President of the European Judo Union ( EJU).

Source: Xinhua


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