Warm front felt at Anglo-Russian energy summit
The growing economic ties between the UK and the Russian Federation were strengthened today as the countries' leaders agreed to work together on increasing investment and development in energy.
Speaking at the opening of the Russia-UK energy summit at Lancaster House, London Prime Minister Tony Blair celebrated the UK's long established and growing partnership with Russia.
'Working together we can achieve our mutual goals of global stability, economic growth, and international development as well as helping each other to reach our own goals - the sure sign of a true partnership,' said Mr Blair.
Mr Blair noted that investments in the energy sector - particularly by BP and Shell - have made the UK the largest overseas investor in Russia, with trade last year worth £3 billion.
Today's summit, jointly hosted by the UK Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation, provided the forum for commercial and diplomatic agreements between the two countries.
These include an agreement on closer energy co-operation at government level, particularly with a view to increasing energy security; improving the climate for investment; preserving the environment; and tackling climate change.
Russia and the UK also used the energy summit to ratify proposals to create a North European gas pipeline with the signing of a formal agreement on co-operation by UK Energy Minister Stephen Timms and Russian Energy Minister Igor Yusofov.