Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 52

The Duma has passed a billdeclaring that underground oil and gas belong to the state butthat their exploitation can be licensed to private companies,Kommersant-Daily reported July 13. The bill, which stillmust be passed by the Federation Council and signed by Yeltsin,removes one of the legal barriers to Western investment in Russia’soil and gas sector. Meanwhile, however, the Russian energy ministryannounced that it had established a cartel of four companies whichwill "coordinate" oil exports by Russian and Westernfirms, Segodnya reported July 13.

Shumeiko Sees Economic Benefits from "Near Abroad"Bases.