Russia, Spain to sign energy agreement

3rd March 2009, Comments 0 comments

The broad energy cooperation agreement will cover electricity production from renewable resources, use of clean technology in transporting energy and improvement of energy efficiency.

MADRID – Russia and Spain will sign a broad energy cooperation agreement, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said Monday on the first day of a visit by Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev.

"Tomorrow, we will sign a broad energy cooperation agreement in the areas of prospecting, exploration, transportation and the sale of hydrocarbons," Zapatero said.

The agreement will cover electricity production from renewable sources as well as liquid fossil fuels, the improvement of energy efficiency and the use of clean technology in the transportation of energy, the prime minister added.

Zapatero, who was speaking at a civil society forum in Madrid with Medvedev at his side, did not provide further details.

Medvedev arrived in Madrid on Sunday night with a business delegation in tow for two days of talks expected to culminate in the signing of a transit deal giving Spain the right to ship goods to Afghanistan through Russia.

Unlike the transit deal, the signing of the energy cooperation agreement had not been announced before the visit.

But the fact that Igor Sechin, Russia's influential deputy prime minister in charge of oil and gas, was listed as part of the Russian delegation was seen as a sign that energy would be high on the agenda of the visit.

Contacted by AFP, a Kremlin spokesman confirmed Sechin was in Madrid as part of the delegation but said he was unaware of the details of the energy agreement that Zapatero said would be signed on Tuesday.

Spain gets most of its gas from Algeria. The fact that it is not a Russian gas client means it was not affected by Russia's dispute with Ukraine in January which left over a dozen European countries cut off from Russian gas supplies in the midst of winter.

AFP / Expatica

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