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Itar-Tass: State Duma to control Sakhalin-2 situation – Kosachyov

19.09.2006, 23.58 
 
MOSCOW, September 19 (Itar-Tass) — The State Duma will control the situation around the Sakhalin-2 project, Chairman of the State Duma International Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachyov told a Tuesday press briefing.

“I do not see any reason for saying that the Federal Nature Usage Supervisory Service was politically motivated,” he said. “There must be no politics in the service’s conduct.”

At the same time, environmental condition of such projects is fully in competence of the service, he said. “This is a right of Russia to hold environmental examinations of such projects,” he said.

The Prosecutor General’s Office challenged the Natural Resources Ministry’s ordinance of July 15, 2003, which approved results of an examination of the feasibility study of the Sakhalin-2 project’s second phase. The ministry invalidated the ordinance, and drafted a new instruction.

In the opinion of the service, the recommendations of environmentalists were not fulfilled, and there are numerous deviations from the feasibility study.

Russian authorities should have clearly defined their claims to Shell, whose license to develop the Sakhalin-2 oil and gas field has been revoked, says a European Commission communique released in Brussels on Tuesday.

European Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs said he will send a letter to Russian Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko.

Reliable and predictable terms for investors are necessary for Russia, the EU and other countries, as otherwise investment projects would become problematic and make uncertain the future international energy supplies, he said.

Any country has a right and duty to control the fulfillment of strict environmental requirements on its territory, yet, if any problems had been exposed at Sakhalin-2, they should have been clearly defined so that Shell could resolve them, he said.

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