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Itar-Tass: Mitsubishi seeks better relations with Russia gvt re Sakhalin-2

20.12.2006, 11.25  

TOKYO, December 20 (Itar-Tass) – President & CEO of Mitsubishi Corp. Yorihiko Kojima has expressed the hope that Gazprom’s entry in the oil and natural gas project Sakhalin-2 will improve relations of the current projects participants with the Russian government.

“If Gazprom becomes our partner, then I hope that relations with the Russian government will be developing more smoothly,” Kojima said in an interview published by the Japanese leading economic newspaper Nihon Keizai on Wednesday.

The Mitsubishi president stated that there is “pile of problems that need to be settled” and called for “complex settlement” of issues related to Sakhalin-2, including Gazprom’s jointing this project, increasing the project cost and settlement of ecological problems.

“It is senseless to hold talks if they are not all-encompassing,” said Kojima noting that the “Russian side also seeks to attain settlement.”

The Mitsubishi head admitted that he was prepared for a possible variant of developments in which at a meeting on December 15 of Russian Minister of Industry and Energy Viktor Khristenko with the presidents of the British-Dutch group Royal Dutch/Shell, as well as Japanese Mitsui & Co. and Mitsubishi that are the current stockholder of the project, the sides would “quarrel and withdraw from negotiations.” “However, the Russian side displayed a constructive approach surpassing all expectations,” Kojima stated.

In the words of the Mitsubishi president, in Russia the company has to face “difficult and incomprehensible aspects.” “However, it does not diminish its attractiveness as one of the rapidly developing countries,” Kojima pointed out.   

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