Russia and Germany to sign Baltic pipleine deal

6th September 2005, Comments 0 comments

6 September, MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to sign contracts for a natural gas pipeline across the Baltic Sea during an official visit to Germany slated to start Wednesday, it was revealed Tuesday.

6 September

MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to sign contracts for a natural gas pipeline across the Baltic Sea during an official visit to Germany slated to start Wednesday, it was revealed Tuesday.

Ahead of the trip, Putin defended the exclusion of other countries from the bilateral project. "Other countries should not sit between Germany and Russia and profit from our pipeline," Putin said.

Poland has been the loudest critic of the planned pipeline.

The more countries the pipeline goes through, the higher the political risk and therefore the higher the price of gas in Western Europe, Putin said.

Germany was also interested in low gas prices, he said.

Putin's planned visit to Berlin on Thursday is expected to boost the re-election campaign of Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder with whom the Russian president has worked closely.

But Putin told a group of Russia experts Monday evening that he did not expect relations between the two countries to change if Germany's opposition wins the September 18 general election.

Putin said that he had also received no signals to the contrary from Germany's opposition Christian Democrat (CDU) chancellor candidate Angela Merkel, with whom he has spoken many times.

The head of the Kremlin stressed the interest of both sides in partnership and economic exchange and "a special responsibility for peace".

When asked about his own plans for the future, Putin said that he was ruling out a constitutional change to give himself a third term in office. "I'm leaving the Kremlin in 2008, but not Russia," he said.

"That could also be a stabilizing factor," Putin said.

DPA

Subject: German news

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