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16.11.2011 12:53
Russia May Contest EU Energy Rules in WTO
Putin plans to discuss the third liberalization package with German energy firms later on Wednesday

  • © World Economic

Russia, on the brink of joining the World Trade Organization, is considering mounting a challenge against EU energy regulations that would limit gas export monopoly Gazprom's control over its European pipeline assets, a government source said on Wednesday.
WTO ministers are expected to invite Russia to join the global trade rules body in December after 18 years of on-off talks but, even before receiving their assent, a first row looks to be brewing.
Russia has expressed anger over European Union rules, known as the third energy package, which seek to liberalise the European gas market by forbidding suppliers from controlling the transport infrastructure used to deliver their gas.
"We believe that this package violates our bilateral agreements with the EU," the official who spoke on condition of anonymity told Reuters. "We are now analysing whether WTO instruments can be used to protect our interests."
"Politically for us the third energy package is a very unpleasant issue," the source said.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, set to become Russia's next president next year, has called the package "a robbery". Putin plans to discuss the package with German energy firms later on Wednesday.
The European Union is Russia's largest trade partner, accounting for about 50 percent of the country's total trade turnover. Gazprom supplies a quarter of all natural gas consumed in Europe.
The EU would prefer to reduce its dependence on Russian gas. It ordered raids on Gazprom units on its territory in September to investigate suspicions of anti-competitive practices.

TAGS: EU | energy | markets | liberalization | policy | Russia | gas | Germany | WTO 

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20.03.2022  Teodor Bobochikov, Managing Partner, V-Ridium
Energy Transformation – Trends and drivers
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