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Prime-Tass: Putin says authorities to keep cracking down on big cos that violate law

MOSCOW, Nov 21 (Prime-Tass) — Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that Russian authorities would keep cracking down on “big companies” that violate legislation, ITAR-TASS reported.

“Despite political blackmail, we’ve investigated some big companies and will keep doing that,” Putin said at a meeting with law enforcement officials.

Russian authorities have recently probed the compliance of many major oil and gas projects with environmental standards and license agreements and threatened to revoke a number of oil and gas field licenses.

These include Sakhalin-2, a project developed by a Royal Dutch/Shell-led consortium, ExxonMobil’s Sakhalin-1 project, Total’s Kharyaga deposit and deposits developed by oil companies Gazprom Neft, Lukoil, TNK-BP and Rosneft. The authorities’ clampdown on the foreign-owned projects has prompted criticism in the West.

Putin called on law enforcement authorities Tuesday to crack down on economic crime.

Putin said that “these new crimes damage Russia’s legal economy and undermine domestic and foreign investors’ trust in the Russian government.”

“The underground economy is sometimes used for financing terrorist and extremist groups and encourages corruption,” he added.

Corporate raids and bankruptcy fraud are becoming “more and more aggressive” in Russia, while money laundering schemes are becoming “more and more sophisticated,” Putin said.

Putin also called for cracking down on loopholes for corruption in Russian legislation.

End

21.11.2006 19:16

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