Russia and Algeria move to reduce red tape

The presidents of Russia and Algeria, Vladimir Putin and Abdelaziz Bouteflika, have met in Moscow to discuss trade and energy co-operation.

Both sides have agreed that  they need to reduce red tape in order to promote business co-operation.

President Putin expressed his hope that closer Algerian ties with the EU wouldn’t affect conditions for Russian companies.  

Russia and Algeria are two of the biggest natural gas suppliers to Europe and they have previously discussed an OPEC-style gas cartel.

However, both Russia’s energy giant Gazprom and Algeria's state-owned Sonatrach backed out of a co-operation deal last year without giving a reason.

Russian Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko says he is still optimistic about future Russia-Algeria projects.

“Russian companies have recently started a number of projects with Algeria.  Last week the Russian oil companies Rosneft and Stroytransgaz approved commercial oil production in two fields in Algeria and also a gas field. Oil extraction is due to begin in 2011. Planned volumes are expected to exceed 3.5 million tonnes,” he said.