Putin slams EU plans to liberalise gas market
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin slammed here on Saturday EU gas market liberalisation plans, warning that letting smaller players in gas pipelines might threaten security of deliveries and lead to price hikes.
"The European Commission proposals aiming to liberalise gas transportation networks are well-meaning. But it is difficult to estimate the consequences of their implementation," Putin said after talks in Sofia with his Bulgarian counterpart Boyko Borisov.
The European Union's plans to further regulate the ownership of gas transmission networks by forcing companies to separate their supply and production activities from network operation hide certain "threats", Putin said.
"Big players such as Gazprom and some European companies would not be allowed to build new gas infrastructure projects and infrastructure development would stall," he explained.
This would hinder deliveries and lead to price hikes, Putin added.
Another threat according to the Russian premier was that small companies with no experience in gas transport and production might "wedge into the major transit pipelines, putting an additional burden on the current prices."
"That is why I think that these proposals need to be further reviewed by experts before taking effect," Putin said.
© 2010 AFP