Tuesday, December 12, 2006


G8 2007

Germany is president of the G8 for 2007. The tentative agenda is said to include energy, the freedom of investment, the social dimensions of globalisation and Africa. Source

The proposal by some, including the UK, to extend G8 membership to China, India, Brazil, South Africa and Mexico was rejected. However these countries will all be invited to the summit.

Moreover, from January 2007, Germany will triple share the EU presidency for 1.5 years with Portugal and Slovenia. Source

The Chinese press report some of the stresses in the G8:

"The EU is carefully seeking a balance between its increasing need for Russian energy supplies, and its criticism of Moscow over human rights and other ideological issues. But the divisions among its 25 members, over how to handle Russia, have not made the task any easier." China View


And on energy: "Moscow had no intention of observing guidelines in the EU's energy charter that would allow non-Russian companies access to the country's vast pipeline network. . . Russia's insistence that it will not ratify a set of common rules giving European and other foreign companies access to the pipelines could pose the first challenge for Chancellor Angela Merkel when Germany takes over the EU's rotating presidency on Jan. 1 [let alone presidency of the G8]."

On freedom of investment, Europe complains:
"While Russia stops foreign companies from gaining access to the energy grids, Gazprom is not stopped from distributing its gas in EU countries. . . Where is the reciprocity?"

A response came yesterday from President Vladimir Putin's special envoy to the European Union. He said Russia would never give up control of its pipelines. His statement coincides with increasing pressure from the Kremlin on foreign energy companies to reduce their stakes in Russia's energy sector. IHT
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