Russian energy minister cancels speech at Houston conference

Updated: 2014-03-04 12:35


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HOUSTON --  Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak has canceled his plan to speak Tuesday at an energy conference held here, local media reported.

Organizers of the IHS CERAWeek energy conference, one of the country's top annual gatherings of energy industry leaders, were quoted by the Houston Chronicle daily as saying that Novak has pulled out of the event.

The report did not mention if the withdrawal had anything to do with the current situation in Ukraine, which is Novak's country of birth.

The Ukraine crisis will be a major subject at the conference, which began Monday. Conference organizers arranged a session specifically devoted to the issue.

Russian is a major supplier of natural gas and oil for the European Union, and most of the EU-bound Russian energy exports travel through Ukraine.

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