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20 Nov, 2006 11:30

Europe wants to secure energy deliveries

Europe wants to secure energy deliveries

The European Union urges Russia to commit to long-term energy contracts to secure member countries safe and affordable oil and gas. The appeal comes as EU officials meet in Brussels.

The meeting comes ahead of a key Russia-EU meeting on partnership issues scheduled for November 24 in Helsinki.

Europe now depends on imports for 50% of its energy needs, but that figure is expected to rise to 70% in 15 years.

The EU is keen to strengthen ties with energy rich countries such as Russia, which provides a quarter of natural gas Europe consumes.

All EU countries are behind the Helsinki talks except Poland which has criticised Moscow for not ratifying the Energy Charter Treaty and for banning Polish food imports.

Russia considers the Energy Charter biased towards energy importers at the expense of the exporters like Russia.

Moscow wants a different type of agreement drawn and plans to discuss it during the meeting in Helsinki.