Da "Asian Times" del 14 Ottobre 2006
Speaking at a joint press conference in Compiegne on September 23 in the presence of Merkel and French President Jacques Chirac, Putin dwelt on Russian-French-German trilateral cooperation. He said: "This tripartite format is both in demand and produces positive results in practice. We see this format as a good and reliable mechanism to coordinate approaches and develop joint initiatives in the spirit of our strategic partnership."
Interestingly, Putin also revealed that Moscow's decision to supply gas from Shtokman deposits to Europe emanated out of a suggestion from Merkel "not so very long ago". Putin pointed out that about 55bcm of gas to Germany were being delivered annually by Russia at present, while the supply from Shtokman alone could turn out to be 25-45bcm of gas per year.
Putin said, "You can imagine what kind of quantities we are talking about here, and what this would mean for the European economy and for the German economy. This deposit has enough reserves to ensure supplies for 50-70 years. This creates an absolutely stable and sustainable situation in the economy and on the European energy market, above all in the energy sector in Germany."