Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Kremlin Has No Say in Setting Prices of Russian Gas - Putin
17.07.2006 MosNews - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday, July 16, that the price of Russian natural gas is determined by the market, not by the Kremlin. "We have seen the end of the time when we set prices for our partners," Putin told a news conference on the second day of the G8 summit. "The market now determines everything." "I cannot imagine a more transparent mechanism," he said. He also said that the more stability there was in the energy sphere, the more stable prices would be. He said that fighting in the Middle East and natural disasters in both South and North America had contributed to high oil prices. "But we, I would like to stress again, we are targeting our work toward minimizing risks and that means stabilizing prices," Putin said. Russia has been accused of using gas prices to blackmail its neighbors, such as Ukraine and Georgia, for turning pro-Western. Gazprom and Russian authorities claim that they selling gas for market prices and that they simply don't want to subsidize the economies of their neighbors.