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Putin speaks out on companies' licensing deals


Putin speaks out on companies' licensing deals


As the row rumbles on over accusations of environmental problems at a massive energy project off the Pacific island of Sakhalin, Russian President Vladimir Putin has urged his government officials to take measures against companies that violate licensing agreements

After meeting his Natural Resources Minister Yuri Trutnev, Putin said: “I am counting on the (Natural Resources) Ministry and the government as a whole making these decisions, including with regard to those companies that work in bad faith and don’t fulfill licensing agreements.”

Earlier Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov offered reassurances over the withdrawal of a key environmental permit for the Shell-led liquefied gas project at Sakhalin. Lavrov said that will not necessarily lead to its license being revoked. And he strongly denied suggestions that this was an attempt to revise production sharing agreements and “squeeze out foreigners.” Some analysts believe Moscow is using environmental issue to get better terms for state gas monopoly Gazprom which wants to join the project.

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