14 april, 2009 18:00  

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin met with Gerhard Schroeder, the former German Chancellor and chairman of the shareholders’ committee of Nord Stream AG


Transcript of the beginning of the meeting:

Vladimir Putin: Dear colleagues, Gerhard.

Let me offer you a warm welcome. First of all, I would like to wish you Happy Birthday.
A long time ago, we agreed to meet and talk about how the Nord Stream project is progressing. I know that Mr Schroeder, and the executive management of Nord Stream, are working very hard to move this project forward. The project is becoming ever more international and pan-European in scale. We are well aware of this, and have discussed this on several occasions.

The European shortfall in energy supply will grow. That's why we must explain our position calmly and work on implementing this very important European project.

I admit that I wish to talk with you today about all aspects of the realisation of this major joint project. I would like to thank you for all the effort you have put into this cause. This project is in the interests of many European countries, notably, of course, Germany and Russia. Germany takes on a wholly new identity, becoming not merely a consumer, but also one of the major transit countries for Russian fuel to other European countries.

Gerhard Schroeder (as translated from Russian): First of all, many thanks, Mr Prime Minister, for your birthday wishes. I am very pleased to be celebrating it in part in Russia, because as is well known, I have fallen in love with this country.

You are absolutely correct when you mention the European effort being put into this project. Nord Stream does not take anything away from anyone, but gives Europe the gas supply security that it has never had before. The project has been developing very fast under the leadership of Matthias Warnig. We are fully on target with all aspects of our preparatory work.

In addition, we also hope that during these discussions we will overcome whatever opposition to this project that we may have to encounter, and which is entirely unfounded and is not linked with any real reasons for concern.

I would like to stress that we are helped in this regard by a due amount of patient discussion.
Of course, it would also be a pleasure to inform you about the details of our work, and about the progress we have made so far.

Vladimir Putin: Thank you.