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MosNews: Russian Government Considers Major Sanctions Against Sakhalin-2 Operator Shell — Official

Sakhalin

( Yuri Trutnev, Russia’s Natural Resources Minister)

Created: 16.10.2006 17:29 MSK (GMT +3), Updated: 17:29 MSK,

Russia’s Natural Resources Minister Yuri Trutnev said on Monday, Oct. 16, that major sanctions may be imposed against the operator of Sakhalin-2 oil and gas project Royal Dutch/Shell due to environmental violations.

The vast project has met with strong opposition from environmental groups and authorities over accusations of inadequate safety, massive volumes of waste disposal, seismic threats, erosion, and threats to marine life. The Natural Resources Ministry withdrew a key permit for the project in September.

The Russian authorities’ annulment of the 2003 Sakhalin Environmental Expert Review (SEER), following action from prosecutors, was met with protests from British, Dutch, U.S. and Japanese officials.

Environmental experts arrived in late September at the port of Korsakov, in southern Sakhalin, to inspect the area where excavation work was conducted earlier by project organizer Sakhalin Energy, under Sakhalin-2.

Mass fish and crab kills have been reported in the area, and inspectors earlier established that a Sakhalin Energy vessel dumped a mixture of methylene dichloride and lubricating oil into the bay.

MosNews has already reported that Shell’s CEO Jeroen van der Veer has met with investment advisory council chaired by Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov and said that within the last few weeks that company has fully addressed all environmental concerns.

Speaking to reporters today Yuri Trutnev said that if Sakhalin Energy “proposes an exhaustive plan to eliminate environmental damage, and if we approve it, there will be no reason to stop the project”.

“If such measures are not taken, other sanctions are possible,” he said.

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