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Media to help Russia promote energy policy at Rome forum

15:12 | 10/ 10/ 2007

MOSCOW. October 10 (RIA Novosti) - Russia has picked three media outlets as official partners for the World Energy Congress, at which Moscow will promote its energy policy amid concerns over its reliability as a supplier.

State-run news agency RIA Novosti, satellite channel Vesti-24, and business daily Kommersant will be the main media partners of the Russian exposition at the World Energy Congress in Rome on November 11-15.

A senior official at Russia's Industry and Energy Ministry has said the event will provide a good opportunity to improve coordination in the energy sphere between representatives of governments, businesses, and scientific communities in different countries.

"The active support of leading media could help improve Russia's image as a guarantor of energy security and a major supplier, as well as encourage dialogue on the most acute issues in this sphere," said Stanislav Naumov, head of research and planning at the ministry.

Western leaders have expressed concern over growing dependence on Russian energy supplies, accusing Moscow of using oil and gas as political weapons in relations with its former Soviet allies.

Russia has had several pricing disputes with ex-Soviet republics since it moved to gradually raise hydrocarbon prices closer to average European levels in recent years. State-controlled gas giant Gazprom briefly cut off gas supplies to Ukraine during a bitter spat in late 2005-early 2006, which affected Europe-bound exports.

With about 60% of Russian export revenue coming from fossil fuels, Russia has repeatedly argued that it is equally dependent on its consumers, above all the European Union.

Discussing the Rome forum, RIA Novosti Editor-in-Chief Svetlana Mironyuk said "it is an opportunity to tell Russian citizens and the whole world about energy sector achievements and international cooperation in this sphere, in which Russia has persistently sought to ensure global security."

Kommersant's editor-in-chief, Andrei Vasilyev, said the congress in Rome "will make it possible to tell members of the European business community about changes in Russia's energy strategy and major energy corporations' cooperation plans for European holdings.

The head of Vesti, Dmitry Mednikov, highlighted Russia's domestic and foreign economic activities as a key focus for the 24-hour channel, and pledged "the fullest possible coverage of the event for audiences."


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