Gazprom’s delegation takes part in celebrations of 35th anniversary of Russian gas deliveries to Germany
Today, as part of the visit to Germany, a Gazprom delegation headed by Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Company’s Management Committee, took part in the celebrations dedicated to the 35th anniversary of Russian natural gas supplies. Present at the event were Wolfgang Tiefensee, Transport Minister of Germany and Dr Klaus-Ewald Holst, Chief Executive Officer of VNG Verbundnetz Gas AG.
In his welcoming speech Alexey Miller said:
We are here today to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Russian gas deliveries to Germany, together with our German partner VNG Verbundnetz Gas AG. It is a good chance for us to look both back and ahead in order to estimate our prospects in the coming decades.
This anniversary is an important milestone for our Company and our partners. Over the past 35 years Gazprom Group and German companies have established a reliable partnership in the energy sector. Russia supplied natural gas to Verbundnetz Gas and Ruhrgas for the first time as far back as in 1973. Let me remind you that our cooperation commenced in a completely different era. The era of serious confrontation between two political systems when every step forward in cooperation between our countries belonging to the feuding military and political blocs required huge efforts and commitment.
Gazprom is proud of rapidly developing but still reliable and stable ties with our German partners. In this respect I would like to express special gratitude to Mr Holst for all these years of cooperation. The constantly developing cooperation between Gazprom and Verbundnetz Gas AG is based not only on rational economic decisions, but also on personal commitment and trust on behalf of the companies’ leaders and employees who retain the aspiration for a bright future of the Russian-German relations in the energy sector. This April, our companies have signed an Agreement of Cooperation in the underground gas storage sector. Gazprom and Verbundnetz Gas AG will build a new underground gas storage facility near Bernburg in Sachsen-Anhalt. The commissioning of stage 1 of the facility is scheduled for 2009.
I hope everybody agrees that having launched this cooperation 35 years ago the leaders of our countries had showed their wisdom and foresight that let the energy sector of Germany and Europe in general obtain a trustworthy partner and a secure source of energy for the generations to come. Since then we have been continuously supplying Europe with natural gas despite the hard times of the Cold War and the subsequent period of transition from a planned to a market economy in Russia.
The history of cooperation between the Eastern and Western European countries, between the European and Russian nations could have been different, if the documents that laid the grounds for our today’s meeting had not been signed 35 years ago. It won’t be an exaggeration to say that without the then decision the entire European energy market as well as the European industry structure would be different today.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the 35th anniversary is a peak of life. Thirty five years of cooperation is a basis to make new plans on. Therefore, we are confident that the partnership with our German friends will successfully continue.