THE GROWING economic ties between the UK and the Russian Federation were strengthened today (Thursday 26 June) as the countries’ leaders agreed to work together on increasing investment and development in energy.
THE GROWING economic ties between the UK and the Russian Federation were strengthened today (Thursday 26 June) as the countries’ leaders agreed to work together on increasing investment and development in energy. Speaking at the opening of the Russia-UK energy summit at Lancaster House, London, UK Prime Minister Tony Blair celebrated the long-established and growing partnership with Russia which has helped bring security and prosperity to both countries. “The UK’s relationship with Russia is one of our most important international partnerships,” said Mr Blair. “Working together we can achieve our mutual goals of global stability, economic growth, and international development as well as helping each other to reach our own goals – the sure sign of a true partnership.”
Today’s summit, jointly hosted by the UK Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation, provided the forum for commercial and diplomatic agreements between the two countries including:
The signing of a memorandum of co-operation on a North-European gas pipeline between the Russian Federation and the UK by UK Energy Minister Stephen Timms and Russian Energy Minister Igor Yusufov;
The agreement on closer energy co-operation on energy at government level, particularly with a view to increasing energy security, improving the climate for investment, preserving the environment, and tackling climate change.
Mr Blair hailed the recent reforms in Russia’s energy sector, overseen by President Putin, as a “concrete testament to the UK’s long-term confidence in Russia”. He noted the growing involvement of British companies. Recent investments in the energy sector – particularly by BP and Shell – have made the UK the largest overseas investor in Russia, with trade last year worth å£3billion.
BP, the Alfa Group, and Access-Renova (AAR) signed a sale and purchase agreement today, seen as a significant step towards formal completion of the proposed combination of the companies’ Russian businesses. The transaction, which was first announced in February, creates a new joint venture company, TNK-BP, with BP and AAR each holding 50% stakes. When the transaction is completed, BP will become the world’s second largest private sector producer of oil and gas, and TNK-BP itself will be the tenth largest.