The German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Russian President Vladimir Putin have reached an energy agreement during talks in Siberia.
Basically the German chemical giant BASF will be allowed special access to drill for gas in Russia. In exchange Germany will open up its domestic market to the Russian gas supplier Gazprom. Energy isn’t the only issue on the agenda as the Russian leader spelt out. He said, “During our talks we discussed European and global issues for example how to sort out the stalemate over Iran’s nuclear programme as well as the situation in the Middle East and in Kosovo.” The gas deal is a major breakthrough for Moscow, because until recently the EU had sent signals that it wanted to block Russian access to its energy market. In return the Russian government had raised the stakes suggesting it might look to export its gas to Asia or North America instead.