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29 Sep, 2008 03:46

Former IEA head looks for flexibility in Gazprom’s energy relations with Europe

Gazprom's current foreign expansion policy is facing resistance from the European Community. But Claude Mandil, Former Director of International Energy Agency, doesn't see any tension between the Russian gas monopoly and the EU, although he says, Gazprom

Claude Mandil: “If Gazprom wants to sell gas directly in Europe, frankly I don’t see any problem, quite the opposite, I welcome.  If Gazprom wants to buy transport assets in Europe, there is a problem, but not because it is Gazprom, it would be exactly the same for any supplier.  We have regulations in Europe, which prevent any supplier from being also an owner of assets, of transport assets.”

RT: Russian energy companies are criticized for not investing enough into production.  Do you share these concerns, and what are the consequences such a policy could have?

Claude Mandil: “We don’t have all the information which is needed to be sure there is no problem.  It may be more a problem of transparency than of reality.” 

RT: What is the future of the Nabucco pipeline project? And how did recent events in the Caucasus affect the development of the project?

Claude Mandil: “The more pipelines you have the more flexibility you have, so I think that Nabucco is a very good project, just as South Stream is a very good project as well, and just as North Stream is a very good project.  All of them, I hope, should be implemented.  What happened in the Caucasus in the past weeks, in my view, just reinforces the need for flexibility.”