Russia-Germany sign deal worth billions

April 11, 2005 at 6:41 PM

HANOVER, Germany, April 11 (UPI) -- German chemical giant BASF and Russian energy company Gazprom signed contracts at the Hanover Fair Monday for two major projects, Deutsche Welle reported.

The two firms agreed to jointly develop the Yuzhno-Russkoye gas field in western Siberia and to develop a Baltic Sea pipeline.

The agreement would make BASF the first German company to obtain access to Russia's enormous gas reserves. The Yuzhno-Russkoye deal includes an investment worth $1 billion, while the Baltic project will be worth another $2 billion, BASF CEO Jurgen Habrecht said.

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Russian President Vladmir Putin attended the historic signing at the world's largest industrial fair hosted in Hanover.

"This marks the transition to a completely new way of cooperating," said Putin, adding the BASF-Gazprom project would help to stabilize energy supplies in Europe.

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