Latvian prime minister Maris Gailis told his Lithuanian counterpart Adolfas Slezevicius yesterday by telephone that Latvia will delay signing an oil exploration agreement with the US Amoco Oil company in a disputed offshore area, until the two Baltic countries sign a treaty defining their mutual maritime border. Other Latvian officials indicate that Latvia is set to sign an agreement with Amoco and the Swedish company OPAB for oil prospecting in that part of Latvia’s offshore zone which is not in dispute. (11)
Latvia and Lithuania exchanged diplomatic notes last week over reported Latvian plans to unilaterally commence exploration in the disputed area. Gailis implicitly disagreed with his energy minister Juris Ozolins who has favored going ahead with the drilling contract despite Lithuanian objections. Amoco and OPAB negotiators are expected to start negotiations in Riga today.
Lithuanian-Russian Offshore Negotiations Resume.