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INTERFAX: ROSPRIRODNADZOR PREPARES TO FILE SAKHALIN-2 CASES IN STOCKHOLM

11/27/2006

Russia’s environment watchdog, Rosprirodnadzor, is talking to Russian and foreign lawyers about filing lawsuits regarding the Sakhalin- 2 project in the Stockholm Arbitration Court, a source in Rosprirodnadzor told Interfax.

“All conflicting issues on production sharing agreements should be reviewed in international courts, that is why we are analyzing such a possibility,” he said.

The lawsuits will concern the damage caused to the environment during the project’s implementation, compensation for lost benefits to Russia and the concealment of important information by contractors, the source said.

If the lawsuits are approved they will be filed in the spring of 2007, he said.

WWF Russia Director Igor Chestin said that Sakhalin Energy concealed certain information from the Natural Resources Ministry when a government environmental survey was approved in 2003. The information analyzed the feasibility study for the second phase of the Sakhalin-2 project. As a result the survey was approved without taking into account the risks of the negative impact the project could have on the environment. Chestin said the operation of underground pipelines, which the company built, is impossible because “accidents are unavoidable.” He said “there is a 100% guarantee of accidents with such a laying method.”

Copyright © 2006 Interfax News Agency. Source: Financial Times Information Limited.

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