Russia Offers Germany Help on Rare Earths
Source: Reuters (7/18/11)
"Berlin aims to improve German industry's access to the prized metals."
Russia is offering Germany closer cooperation on rare earth elements, as well as gas and oil supplies, a Russian official said on Monday ahead of an annual bilateral summit in Germany.
Berlin has been trying to improve German industry's access to the prized metals, which are used to manufacture a range of high-tech products and whose supply has been hit by export curbs by dominant producer China, among other factors.
"There are very many rare earths deposits on the Kola peninsula," said Russian Gas Society President and Deputy Head of Parliament, Valeri Jasev, adding that the two countries could increase cooperation in the area.
The statement came before German Chancellor Angela Merkel was to meet Russian President Dmitry Medvedev later on Monday and on Tuesday to discuss deepening ties, with oil and gas cooperation figuring prominently on the agenda.
The metals and their shortage have occupied officials in Berlin, which signed a partnership with resource-rich Kazakhstan in May after months of preparation.
Germany's electronics industry has said the market for the 17 minerals with magnetic, luminescent and other properties has become critical due to reported restrictions on exports from China, which produces 97% of the world's supply.