Thursday, June 22, 2006
Russia, Italy Provide Mutual Access to National Energy Markets
22.06.2006 11:26 [Neftegaz.ru] – On Tuesday, June 20, Russian and Italian leaders agreed to open up energy markets to each other's investors. The statement was made after a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Italian Prime Minister Roman Prodi. Putin and Prodi agreed on access by Russian energy companies to the Italian market in exchange for access by Italian companies to oil and gas extraction in Russia. "In fact, we are implementing the Energy Charter's supplementary protocol without formally ratifying the document in parliament," the Russian President was quoted by the Itar-Tass agency as saying. Despite European pressure, Russia has not ratified the Energy Charter, a document that would require it to open its export pipeline network and other energy assets to foreign investors. Prodi said Italy and Russia have opened "a new phase of energy cooperation". "We no longer have the relations of a seller and a buyer. Russia will be present on the Italian market in the production of electric power," the Italian leader said.