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Gazprom’s long-term strategy

By rehashing tired clichés of Kremlin intrigue, The Post’s Sept. 24 front-page story “Russian energy giant faces turmoil” and Sept. 26 editorial “A new power broker” overlooked the more interesting reality of Gazprom’s recent strategic decisions.

First, as your coverage recognizes, the Asian market presents a major growth opportunity. Yet your story did not take into account an important deal we recently concluded with Japan to deliver liquefied natural gas from our Vladivostok LNG facility to the world’s fourth-largest energy market or our negotiations with Indian companies to help meet India’s aggressive industrial growth targets. Regarding our negotiations with China, any deal of this magnitude takes time, and we would do a disservice to our shareholders if we were to rush ahead without trying to secure the best price possible.

Second, the article criticized the decision to delay further development of the Shtokman gas field but ignored the fact that independent experts and investment analysts, including Morgan Stanley, welcomed the news as being grounded in sound business strategy.

Third, new pipelines such as Nord Stream serve the long-term interests of both our stakeholders and our customers by increasing the reliability of supply to growing markets in Europe, shielding them from the unpredictable fluctuations of the spot-gas market.

We take our obligations both to shareholders and as a nationally owned energy company very seriously. The above issues are best seen as examples of Gazprom ignoring the trap of short-term spikes in favor of creating long-term value for independent shareholders and the Russian Federation.

Sergei Kuprianov, Moscow

The writer is press secretary for OAO Gazprom.

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