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Last Updated: Saturday, 23 September 2006, 17:49 GMT 18:49 UK
Russia in European energy pledge
Russian President Vladimir Putin
President Putin said Russia would fulfil its duties
Russian President Vladimir Putin has sought to reassure France and Germany about the security of Europe's energy supplies as winter approaches.

Mr Putin told French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Angela Merkel that energy co-operation was a high priority for his government.

Speaking at summit talks in Paris, he said Russia would fulfil its duties towards its partners in Europe.

The European Union imports about 30% of its natural gas from Russia.

Concerns were raised at the beginning of the year when Russia temporarily cut supplies to some European customers during a row with Ukraine over prices.

President Chirac and Chancellor Merkel described the talks as productive.

Franco-Russian deals

The three leaders also discussed the situation in the Middle East, including Lebanon, and how best to reduce tensions over Iran's nuclear programme.

The BBC's Clive Myrie in Paris says that on this issue, the three seem in agreement that the threat of sanctions for the moment is not the best way to get Iran to agree to end uranium enrichment.

Ahead of the three-way summit, France and Russia signed deals in the transport and aviation sectors worth more than $10bn (7.8bn euros).

French officials said the Franco-Russian deal comprised of a general co-operation accord between the two countries' ministries in charge of infrastructure, and a memorandum of understanding between Russia and the French company Vinci for the construction of a motorway between Moscow and St Petersburg.




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