Wednesday, 20 July 2011

A bad day for Medvedev in Germany

Today was not a good day for Russian president Dmitry Medvedev, who met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Hanover.

Medvedev tried to convince Merkel that Germany needs to import more Russian gas in the future after the country´s exit from nuclear power.

However, in spite of Medvedev´s best sales efforts, Frau Merkel did not seem particularly impressed:

“It’s up to German companies to decide whether they buy more Russian gas"

“The cheaper it’s priced the more likely it is to be bought.”

“Let’s wait and see what happens,”

A German energy expert gave a clear reason for Merkel´s moderate interest:

Merkel is “right to cold-shoulder” Medvedev’s offer to expand gas supplies, said Claudia Kemfert, who heads the Berlin- based DIW economic institute’s energy unit, in an interview today. “Russian gas is simply too expensive and touting sweeteners like asset exchanges and a slice of the cake in modernizing Russia’s energy grid aren’t convincing.”

Read the entire article here

The Germans,who know that the world gas market is changing because of shale gas and increased LNG capacity, are clearly not willing to accept the kind of expensive multiple-year contracts that the Russians are offering.

Otherwise Medvedev´s day was dominated by the German democracy prize that was not given to his boss, prime minister Putin:

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday slammed a decision to cancel a private German democracy prize for Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as a sign of "cowardice".
"When you have already taken a decision to award a prize, it is taken and reversing that shows cowardice and inconsistency," he told reporters after a joint cabinet meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
"I think after such a decision this prize is finished, at least for the international community.

Read the entire article here

Medvedev may have been right in believing that the Quadriga prize is finished. However, if the prize actually would have been awarded to Putin, that would even more certainly have finished it.

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