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Julian Huppert MP

Russia mistaken on Energy Charter

November 24, 2006 2:43 PM

Ahead of today's EU-Russia Energy Summit, David Howarth, Lib Dem Energy Spokesperson, has responded to news that Russia is continuing to refuse to ratify the Energy Charter.

The Charter would force Russia to open up its pipelines to European companies and would provide safeguards for investors. Russia's Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, has said that Russia will not ratify the Charter, fearing that it will damage the country's economic interests.

It intends to try to renegotiate the treaty.

Mr. Howarth commented:

"This is a deeply regrettable announcement. The Energy Charter will, in the long term, benefit both Russia and its international partners. Renegotiation of the Charter undermines investor certainty in Russian energy markets and may lead to a situation where Russia is unable to

develop its own resources.

David Howarth MP

David Howarth MP

"Russia is mistaken in thinking that ratifying the Energy Charter will damage their economic interests. The opposite is the case. Without ratifying the Charter Russia will fail to get the investment it needs. Ratification will benefit not damage their economic interests."