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Author`s name Michael Simpson

Gas More Important Than Chechnya Disputes

Putin's visit to Great Britain changed attitude to Russia for the better
The official visit of Russia President Vladimir Putin to Great Britain is over; it's time to analyze all possible advantages of closer partnership between Russia and Great Britain. It is quite understandable why Vladimir Putin was so warmly received in Great Britain: indeed, both parties are interested in supplies of Russian gas to England.

This kind of cooperation is very advantageous for Russia as it will yield tens of billions of dollars. Great Britain is also interested in this cooperation very much, as the country is experiencing shortage of fuel at the beginning of a new century. Russia's plans are rather ambitious: it wants to cover 20% of Britain's need for gas and oil.
Gas usage is gaining popularity in the United Kingdom. There is some information saying that by the year of 2020, 70 percent of electric energy in the country will be generated using gas and 90 percent of this gas will be imported from other countries. Some experts doubt if it is expedient to increase the export of Russian natural resources to Great Britain. If the export increases the country will depend upon Russian supplies. This fact is unwelcome for British politicians who traditionally consider Russia a developing country that must be given instructions; they say dependence upon Russia is impossible.

There is an opinion in Great Britain saying that Russia should be one of gas suppliers, but not the only one. Opponents to the Russian-British cooperation suggest an alternative to consider Norway, Algeria, Venezuela and some African countries as probable suppliers of natural resources.

Meanwhile, contracts to the sum of several billions of dollars have been already concluded with Russian oil and gas corporations.
The visit of the Russian president to Great Britain has changed the attitude to Russia and the tone of publications about events in this country. Currently Russia is more often considered a partner profitable in many respects. Now many mass media pay less attention to such problems as Chechnya and Chechen terrorists as they treat them as Russia's domestic problems. It is more important now to cooperate in politics and economy, not provoke conflicts.

Svetlana Tatasova-Briton
Great Britain