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Gazprom projects viable despite economy

  |   Dec. 3, 2008 at 3:01 PM
MOSCOW, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- Russian leaders, including Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, said large-scale projects for energy giant Gazprom are moving ahead despite the economic downturn.

Russian First Deputy Prime Ministers Igor Shuvalov and Viktor Zubkov, along with Kudrin, met to discuss the outlook for Gazprom in terms of its position in foreign markets and planned investment projects, the Russian news agency ITAR-TASS said.

Gazprom and other Russian oil majors in October lobbied for billions in government-backed loans to refinance outstanding debts. Alexei Miller, the head of Gazprom, said, meanwhile, the future outlook for the company was positive because of high export prices and an increased presence in European markets.

The Russian leaders said they may need to restructure their finances, however, as world energy prices continue to drop, but maintained a positive stance.

"While discussing the foreign economic environment, the participants in the conference stressed that Russia was and will be a reliable energy partner," the officials said in a statement.

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