Spanish government announces agreement to cooperate with Russian energy sector
The president of Spain, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, has announced an agreement with Russia for more cooperation between both countries in projects of renewable energy, investigation, exploitation and the transport of combustible fuels.
According to sources from the Spanish energy sector the agreement is a ‘declaration of intentions’ in which Repsol YPF will play an important role.
Zapatero and the Russian president, Dmitri Medvédev, announced this initiative at the close of the first meeting of the Hispanic-Russian Civil Society which took place in the Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid.
Zapatero said that he believed that the moment had arrived for Spanish and Russian interests to be tied together in order to take advantage of the potential of both countries in a globalized economy. According to the president of Repsol YPF, Antonio Brufau, Russia remains interested in the Spanish energy market.
At present Spain imports around 20% of its petrol from Russia although it does not depend on gas imports because there are no pipelines connecting it to the Russian network.
Zapatero said that he was convinced that Spain could be a strategic option for Russia given that it had leading companies in sectors such as finance, construction, energy, civil engineering and tourism. He also insisted that Russia is an attractive country as much for investment as for commerce.
The president of Spain also reminded people that Spanish exports to Russia grew at a rate of 40% over the last 3 years. On this point, Medvédev said that commerce between both countries amounted to approximately 10,000 million euros in 2008, a figure which is ‘colossal’ compared to a decade ago and ‘modest’ compared to the possibilities offered by both economies.