U.S. WANT RUSSIA'S MARKET SHARE
BLOOMBERG - The expansion of Russia's gas pipeline to Germany under the Baltic Sea, which bypasses a number of east European nations, will allow the Kremlin to use energy as a "political tool," U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in Warsaw.
Tillerson, speaking to reporters after meeting with Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Saturday, said Europe should seek to diversify energy supplies. The U.S. saw the contested Nord Stream 2 link as "undermining Europe's overall energy stability and security," he said.
NATO member Poland has repeatedly tried to bloc the deal, saying it would leave countries such as itself and Ukraine vulnerable if Russia decided to shut down the gas pipelines running across its territory to western Europe. Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz said Poland wanted U.S. help in stopping Nord Stream 2, which is being built by Russian gas giant Gazprom PJSC.
"It's not a helpful piece of infrastructure to support stability in Europe," Tillerson said. "We will continue to take steps as we can."
The top American diplomat said his country is ready to help Poland continue to diversify its fuel supplies, including through the sale of U.S. liquefied natural gas, to reduce its dependence on Russia. Tillerson also said the U.S. will maintain support for Polish plans to build a gas-pipeline connection with the North Sea together with Denmark. Additionally, he's in favor of increasing links in the energy network between the Baltic and Adriatic seas.
Besides joint efforts in the energy industry, Poland's foreign minister said he was hopeful for more military cooperation with the U.S., after it installed troops in the former Communist country as part of a plan to better protect NATO's eastern flank. Czaputowicz said Poland wants to complete negotiations "soon" and sign defense deals with the U.S, including protracted talks about the delivery of the Patriot missile-defense system as well as Blackhawk helicopters.
Later on Saturday, Tillerson met the ruling Law & Justice party's leader, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who holds no official post.
"For me it's an opportunity to hear from one of the local leaders" who has a "long history in the development of Poland in the last 20 years," Tillerson said.
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REUTERS - A consortium of western companies and Russia’s Gazprom that is due to build the controversial subsea Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany said on Tuesday it was starting preparatory work in the Greifswald bay off Germany’s Baltic coast.
GAZPROM - The parties reviewed the issues of cooperation in the energy industry, focusing on, inter alia, substantial growth in Russian gas exports to Austria. According to preliminary data, from January 1 through May 14, 2018, Gazprom delivered to Austria 4.7 billion cubic meters of gas, an increase of 70.4 per cent from the same period of last year.
FRB - Industrial production rose 0.7 percent in April for its third consecutive monthly increase. The rates of change for industrial production for previous months were revised downward, on net; for the first quarter, output is now reported to have advanced 2.3 percent at an annual rate.
WNN - Rosatom, the Russian state nuclear corporation, signed a series of agreements with overseas companies during the Atomexpo conference and exhibition being held this week in Sochi, Russia. The agreements, with Chile, China, Cuba, Finland, Hungary, Iran, Italy, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Spain and Zambia, include the engineering and medical sectors, among others.