Medvedev in Germany to talk Nord Stream

July 16, 2009 at 12:16 PM

MUNICH, Germany, July 16 (UPI) -- Russian President Dmitry Medvedev met Thursday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss energy security and the Nord Stream gas pipeline.

Sergei Prikhodko, an aide to Medvedev, said fuel and energy cooperation were at the top of the agenda for the meeting between the two leaders.

He added the talks focused particularly on the political aspects of implementing the Nord Stream gas pipeline, which he described as of "strategic importance not only for Russia and Germany, but for the whole of Europe," RIA Novosti reports.

The Nord Stream gas pipeline would transit along a dual route through the Baltic Sea to Germany. Russia sees the project, and its South Stream counterpart, as an option to avoid politically sensitive routes through Ukraine that transfer 80 percent of all Russian gas to Europe.

Europe, for its part, puts its faith in the Nabucco pipeline, though that project suffers from a lack of firm commitments from potential gas suppliers and financial shortfalls. Merkel in March said she wants no public funding for the $10.3 billion Nabucco project.

The two leaders discussed a series of business ventures during their meeting Thursday in Munich. Medvedev, apart from the Nord Stream deal, pushed for a bid by Sberbank Rossii, the Russian bank, and Magna International Inc., the Canadian automotive company, to buy the German division of General Motors.

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