Russia aims to corner energy markets: U.S. official

Tabassum Zakaria
Reuters
Monday, Sept 8, 2008

Russia aims to corner energy markets, a senior U.S. official said on Monday as Vice-President Dick Cheney arrived in Italy during a tour that has taken in eastern European states which are important transit routes.

"The fact is Russia has worked hard to try to corner the markets, so to speak, and is working to foreclose options to transit for those energy products across Russia," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"They want everything to come out through Russia and a lot of us think it's more important that there be diverse means of gaining access to those resources. No one country ought to be able to totally dominate those deliveries."

Cheney has visited Azerbaijan, Georgia and Ukraine to show support for the former Soviet states after the conflict between Georgia and Russia over the South Ossetia region which the vice-president called Moscow's "brutality against a neighbor".

Europe and the United States are concerned about transit routes for oil and gas through eastern European countries which are seen as alternatives to Russian supplies.

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