The EU-Russia Energy Dialogue was taken a step further at two roundtable discussions on 16-17 October in Moscow.
In the framework of the EU-Russia Energy Dialogue, two bilateral round tables were held in Moscow on 16 and 17 October.
The discussion on 16 October was devoted to electricity, and specifically to the issues surrounding the development of a wider European electricity market based upon a future interconnection between the continental European electricity grid and that of Russia and the Sommonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Both parties recognised the interconnection of the electricity systems of the EU & Russia and the establishment of a common European electricity market as a priority for their energy policies. However, number of economic and technical obstacles still need to be overcome, and a first study into the ways in which the grids can be interconnected should be completed by 2007.
On 17 October, the discussion was based on the recently approved Russian energy strategy to 2020, the Commission’s paper on ‘European Energy and Transport Trends to 2030’ and the Commission’s Green Paper on Security of Supply.
The discussion highlighted the growing mutual interdependency between the EU and Russia as well as both parties’ interest in defining common objectives of secure energy supply and demand. The participants agreed to cooperate closely to promote the convergence of energy strategies, industrial cooperation, the facilitation of investment plus the harmonisation of technical norms and standards to create an open continent-wide energy market.
The EU also held informal talks with Russia on its long-sought aim to have Russian oil exports priced in euros, but Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov said it was up to exporters to decide if they should stick to the dollar or price oil in euros. “This topic cannot even be discussed. There can be no administrative decisions here. The market decides,” Kasyanov was quoted.