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Putin: German gas line should run at full steam

Jan. 29, 2014 at 6:44 AM

BRUSSELS, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin said an extension of the Nord Stream gas pipeline through Germany should be able to operate at its full capacity.

Putin said the so-called OPAL pipeline through Germany can operate at full capacity following talks with European Union leaders, state news agency RIA Novosti reported Tuesday.

Putin was quoted as saying there were "certain problems" related to operations of the pipeline, a 290-mile system connected to the twin Nord Stream system, but "progress has been achieved on certain very complicated issues."

Russian envoy to the European Union Vladimir Chizhov said earlier this month parts of the pipeline in EU territory may fall under EU legislation meant to curb the control of monopolies like Russia's Gazprom.

There was no statement from EU officials on the OPAL pipeline, designed to deliver 1.2 trillion cubic feet of gas per year. Nord Stream runs from Russia through the Baltic Sea.

European member states are trying to break Russia's influence on the region's energy sector by courting rival suppliers. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said during talks with Russian leaders Wednesday in Brussels "mutual understanding and strategic trust" were vital for strong bilateral economic affairs.

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