Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Energy security and democracy

President Vladimir Putin felt obliged today to defend Russia's right to the chair of the G8 for 2006. There is criticism that Moscow's record on democracy is incompatible with its membership of the club of industrialised democracies.

And Russia is an energy superpower. Mr Putin suggested that state interference in the private sector would be restrained now that it had achieved control of energy giant Gazprom.
Referring to oil firms such as LUKOIL and TNK-BP, the Russian venture of Britain's BP, he said: "Nobody is planning to nationalise them. No one is planning to interfere and they will develop according to market conditions as private firms."
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