During his visit to Sakhalin, a Russian island near Japan, Prime Minister Putin put forward the initiative of what he called “a global exchange operation”. As a result of this operation, supplies of Russian gas to Europe will grow, and Japan will have more liquefied gas which it badly needs after it has suffered much from the earthquake and the tsunami.
Initially, the Russian prime minister planned his visit to Sakhalin, first of all, to discuss Russia’s vast program of developing the fuel and energy complex in eastern Siberia and the Far East. However, the Japanese tragedy made Mr. Putin make some amendments to the visit’s agenda. In the city of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, the prime minister has held an extra meeting, devoted to the situation with radiation in that region and to helping Japan recover from the devastating disaster. All over Russia’s Far East, everyone and everything coming from Japan is being thoroughly checked, but, luckily, no excess of radiation has been revealed yet. Mr. Putin said that he is satisfied with the work of the region’s radiation control services.
The global exchange operation suggested by Mr. Putin will be discussed with Russia’s Western partners. If successful, this operation will help Japan have over 1 mln tons of liquefied gas within a month. At the same time, European countries will have about 6 bln cubic meters of gas via Russian pipelines. This will help them keep their energy balance.
“After the catastrophe, Japan will probably also have to correct the structure of its energy balance,” Prime Minister Putin said at the meeting, “and Russia is ready to render some help to the Japanese. We can provide reliable supplies of energy resources to Japan, and we can also work out a scheme of supplying electric power to Japan from Sakhalin. We are decisively aimed at a constructive dialogue with our Japanese partners. For example, we are offering them to join to our large-scale energy projects in Western Siberia and the Far East.”
The prime minister also said that developing the Far East’s fuel and energy complex means, first of all, forming new industrial centers, constructing new energy lines – and developing the infrastructure in towns and villages, making them more attractive for people to live and work in.
“Developing the region’s energy complex is a priority for Russia,” Mr. Putin said. “This is the way for our country to further integrate into the world’s economy.”
Energy structures in Eastern Siberia and the Far East are already developing rapidly. The first stage of the pipeline from Eastern Siberia to the Pacific Ocean and the oil pipeline from Skovorodino, Russia to Datsin, China are already working. A grandiose oil- and gas-producing center has opened on Sakhalin. A part of it is a plant producing liquefied natural gas – the first such plant in Russia and one of the world’s biggest plants of this kind. Vladimir Putin has okayed the idea of Sakhalin’s governor to add a new installation to this plant and build a new one. Another gas-producing plant is to be build at the Kirinskoe deposit within a year, and new oil deposits will be developed.
Vladimir Putin has ordered to the respective ministries to correct the program of creating gas-producing centers in the Krasnoyarsk region, the Irkutsk Region, Sakha Autonomous Republic, the Sakhalin Region and the Kamchatka Region. It is also planned to correct the details of the long-termed price policy not to hurt the budget of the regions and of individuals.