By JAMES MARSON
MOSCOW -- Russia has handed the European Commission a proposal to
provide exemptions for Russian pipelines that enter the European Union from regulations
restricting their use by Russian export monopoly OAO Gazprom,
Interfax news agency cited Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller
as saying in Brussels Friday.
Mr. Miller said the document proposed that projects of "mutual interest" be
exempt from EU rules - which restrict the amount of gas
transited by pipelines' owners - until investors see a return
on their investment.
Gazprom and its partners began construction of the South Stream
pipeline this month, which will transit gas to Southern Europe via the Black Sea from
Russia accounts for around one-quarter of the gas needs of
the EU, its most lucrative market.
Mr. Miller also said Gazprom is seeking to gain full use of
the OPAL pipeline, which connects Nord Stream to the main
German gas grid, for the next six months, Interfax
reported. Gazprom can currently only use 50% of its
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