Gazprom has recruited key partners to carry out its European plans. Dziennik Gazeta Prawna reports after Kommiersant that the Russian monopoly will shortly sign agreements with two French energy companies, GDF Suez and Electricite de France (EdF), concerning their participation in the development of the Nord Stream and South Stream gas pipelines. Both companies are to become shareholders in the projects and recipients of Russian gas. “It looks like doing it with the Russians is more attractive for the French companies than joining the EU-supported Nabucco pipeline that is to cut across the explosive Caucasus and eastern Turkey,” says the daily. According to anonymous sources quoted by Kommiersant, the planned agreements between the French companies and Gazprom were discussed by prime ministers Vladimir Putin and Francois Fillon on Monday. Under the planned deal, EdF would get 9 percent in South Stream, which is to connect Russia with Austria and Italy, and GDF would participate in the development of the Russo-German Nord Stream pipe that would supply Russian gas to Germany via the Baltic seabed. “Despite Poland’s protests, motivated by woes that the planned pipe, circumventing Polish territory, would make it easier for Moscow to use gas blackmail, the Kremlin keeps looking for partners that will help finalise the key project for the financially strapped Gazprom,’ notes DGP.