Energy security has dominated the early stages of the G8 meeting in Moscow, with member states putting increasing pressure on President Putin to make sweeping reforms to the way the industry is run in Russia.
One of the key debates at the summit is likely to be the future of Gazprom, with the nations of western Europe increasingly keen to see the firm broken up and distanced from the Kremlin.
Russia is also seemingly determined to stand firm over the ratification of an energy supply charter that it signed back in 1994. The Energy Charter Treaty is intended to guarantee free movement of exported gas and oil, and Russia’s failure to adopt the treaty is being seen as a sign that it intends to continue to leverage its hydrocarbon resources on its own terms.
Thierry Breton, France’s finance minister, said in comments reported by The Times: The recent Ukrainian affair shows that the dialogue between Europe and Russia could function better.
Russia has signed the charter and must now ratify it. The position of us all is that there has to be better visibility and reliability of supply…transit and prices. There is a framework in the energy charter which would allow us to do this.