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(From BBC Monitoring International Reports)
The following is a selection of quotes from articles published in the 21 April editions of Russian newspapers:
Gazprom blackmails Europe
Gazeta [daily owned by steel magnate Vladimir Lisin] www.gzt.ru "The Russian gas monopoly continues to put on airs and has now begun to dictate its conditions not only to the former fraternal republics from the USSR but to the whole of Western Europe too. Gazprom head Aleksey Miller said at a meeting with ambassadors from the 25 EU countries that Russia may redirect deliveries to fast-developing markets in other regions of the world... One of the reasons for these new ambitious statements or, more precisely, a new 'Gazprom blackmail', was the monopoly's desire to absorb the Centrica company, Britain's largest gas supplier...
"Nevertheless, one should not make a drama out of Gazprom's demarche. The retargeting of the Russian monopoly towards alternative markets will take at least 15 years for purely technical reasons. For that Gazprom would have to rehash the whole of its policy from now, which is not in Russia's interests at the moment." [from article by Irina Kezik, headlined "Gazprom is bluffing"]