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News // Oil and gas worldwide

E.On asked Putin for guarantee

01 December 2008 , 11:04Ksenia Kochneva633
Putin received E.On chief Wulf Bernotat on Friday and called him “a strategic partner in the full sense of that word.”

E.On is the largest foreign shareholder in Gazprom, with a 6.43-percent share. In October, it agreed to trade 2.93 percent for a share in the Yuzhno-Russkoe field. That agreement was the result of several years of difficult negotiations.

E.On also spent ?4.6 billion on a 76-percent share in Russian electric company OGK-4.

“One important condition for our decision on serious investments in electricity was the liberalization of the electricity market,” Bernotat said. “It is, of course, very important for us to know that all of the plans for liberalization and their complex conditions will be rigorously implemented.”

He added that ensuring fuel (coal and natural gas) for electricity production and the inclusion of new capacity in the network were also of concern to the German investor. Bernotat said that “fruitful” negotiations were underway on those points with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin, Energy Minister Sergey Shmatko and “colleagues from Gazprom.”

In spite of those extensive activities, Bernotat told Putin that “It is, of course, important for us to obtain political support and your support in this issue.” Putin responded that “All plans that we have made in this area we will not cut back on and they will be fulfilled.” He did not specify which plans he was referring to or when they will be fulfilled.

Kommersant reported that a source in the presidential administration told that the real emphasis in the talks between Putin and Bernotat was the German’s desire for a guarantee of gas deliveries to Europe in the event that Russia and Ukraine would again quarrel on gas supplies in January.

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