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G8 to talk energy security

TEXT OF STORY

MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: President Bush and the other leaders of the Group of 8 leading nations are heading for the Russian city of St. Petersburg for this weekend's summit. This will be the first time Russia hosts the meeting. At the top of the agenda: the issue of energy security. Stephen Beard reports from the European desk in London.


STEPHEN BEARD: President Putin will try to convince his G8 partners that Russia is a dependable supplier of oil and gas.

The European leaders will take some convincing. They have become very nervous about their reliance on Russian energy.

This winter they got a shock when in a dispute over prices Russia briefly cut the natural gas it was pumping to Ukraine and that also cut supplies to EU countries.

Dieter Helm of Oxford University:

DIETER HELM: That was the wake-up call for Europeans to realize that they were pretty vulnerable on the basis of small number of very large pipes.

And the Europeans have also become alarmed by Russian plans to build a new pipeline to China.

There won't be sufficient Russian oil and gas for both pipelines. The fear is that in its new resurgent role as an energy superpower, Russia will play the Chinese off against the Europeans.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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