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Europe

Barroso Gets Assurances From Putin Over EU's Energy Supply

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said Saturday he had received assurances from Russian President Vladimir Putin that his country's supply of gas to Europe would continue.

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Barroso and Putin met in Moscow for talks which were described as "cordial"

Barroso told a press conference in Moscow the Russian president had committed to remaining "a reliable and predictable energy partner" to Europe.

"It was an informal meeting. (...) We were not necessarily agreed on all issues, but we had a very long, open, frank exchange of views," said Barroso.

"We have agreed that there is interest to have a special relationship between the European Union and Russia on energy."

Barroso called for an "open, transparent market" in energy and said suppliers, consumers and transit countries all shared the same interest.

"A lot of investment is needed. And it's important for all operators, public or private, to have a stable framework and predictable rules," he said.

Putin to visit Brussels for further energy talks

Gasstreit Russland Ukraine Gashahn wird zugedreht Gazprom Gas

Ongoing discussions are needed to keep the pipes open

Putin met the European Commission president for a working dinner, with energy the main subject of discussion. Barroso said Putin had accepted an invitation to visit the European Commission in Brussels to continue the talks. Putin's EU advisor, Sergei Yastrzhembsky, told Russian news agency Interfax the meeting would take place in the second half of this year.

Brussels has struggled to establish discussions with Moscow over energy.

The EU buys 25 percent of its gas from Moscow and is pressing for the liberalization of the country's energy market. But under Putin, the Russian oil giant Gazprom has steadily increased its demands on its customers.

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