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Russia defers questions on Crimean oil and gas

With Ukraine taking claims of Russian aggression to the international courts, the Kremlin sidestepped questions about possible oil development offshore Crimea.

Russia defers questions on Crimean oil and gas


With Ukraine taking claims of Russian aggression to the international courts, the Kremlin sidestepped questions about possible oil development offshore Crimea.

Business daily Kommersant reported the government awarded a license for oil and gas exploration off the coast of the Crimean Peninsula.

A less-known player, New Projects, has received a Russian license for oil and gas exploration and production on the Crimean shelf.

Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, sidestepped questions about the license for energy work in the region.

«I recommend asking the government for a comment on the matter», he said.

According to Tass, broad consent was given for oil and gas exploration offshore Crimea by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev last year.

The dust-up over reserves off the coast of Crimea comes as Ukraine makes a case against Russia at the International Court of Justice.

According to Ukraine's Foreign Ministry, the suit was filed in order to hold Russia responsible for violations in «occupied» Crimea.

«The provisional measures will allow the court to prevent the deterioration of the situation, and, most importantly, to protect the civilian population during the period required for examination of the case,» a ministry statement read.

Energy rows between Kiev and Moscow pre-date the political crisis in Ukraine that followed its tilt toward the European Union.

Most of the Russian gas sent through pipelines to Europe runs through Soviet-era networks in Ukraine and payment issues during the last decade prompted the Kremlin to briefly close the spigot for westbound reserves.

To read the full story in Russian.



Author: Daniel J. Graeber


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