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Putin: Russian government will reach deal with Royal Dutch Shell

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Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday he was confident his government would reach an agreement with Royal Dutch Shell over the Sakhalin-2 liquefied natural gas project.

"We are not creating any problems out of it; we just need to sit down at a negotiating table, and I am sure a solution will be found," he said at a news conference after talks with EU leaders.

Putin also stressed that Russia welcomed foreign investors and wanted to create a stable environment for foreign firms.

The recent decision by state-controlled natural gas monopoly OAO Gazprom to bar foreign investors from developing the giant Shtokman gas field under the Barents sea, he said, did not mean Russia was creating an unfriendly investment climate.

"As far as Shtokman is concerned, it has nothing to do with the change of rules in Russia," he said. "It does not mean that Russia says 'no' to the work of foreign partners."

© The Associated Press

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