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Russia: Gazprom's export monopoly becomes law

The Duma (parliament) has enshrined Gazprom's total control over gas exports in a new law. Passed in July, the legislation marks a setback both for independent gas producers eager to access lucrative foreign markets and for the European Union (EU), which has urged Russia to liberalise its lucrative international gas trade by opening up export pipelines to outsiders. The new Law on Natural Gas Exports was rushed through the Duma and passed by an overwhelming majority just a fortnight before Russia hosted the G8 meeting in St Petersburg. Energy security was to be high on the agenda at the gathering (see p34). Participants were particularly hoping that Russia would provide reassurance on the s

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