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6 Aug, 2007 10:30

Russia calls for clarity in foreign investments

Russia's leader is pushing for greater transparency of foreign investments in the country's energy sector. The announcement came at a government meeting with major oil and gas companies.

“We consistently pursue creating a transparent environment for foreign investors. And I should mention that Russia's regulations regarding foreign investments and hydrocarbons are among the most liberal ones worldwide. What we need is not just to open up our market but to work out a completely transparent and easy to understand arrangement that would give no room for misunderstandings. We have mentioned in the past that our legislation regarding this sphere has to be amended,” Russia's President Vladimir Putin said.

At the moment British companies are the biggest investors in the Russian gas and oil sector. BP and Shell are followed by America's Exxon and France's Total.

The biggest projects involving foreign investment are the Kovykta and Shtokman gas fields, and the Sakhalin-1 and 2 projects rich in both oil and gas.

Kovykta in East Siberia is the only big energy project in Russia which has no state shareholder and is not majority-controlled by Russians.