Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 119

Lithuania may appeal to international arbitration if Latvia continues preparations to unilaterally drill for oil in a disputed area of the offshore shelf, the Lithuanian parliament’s foreign affairs commission chairman Kazys Bobelis told a news conference yesterday. The warning follows an exchange of notes last week in which Lithuania asked Latvia about reports that Latvia was trying to make deal with the US Amoco oil company and Sweden’s OPAB to explore the disputed territory. Latvia’s foreign ministry did not clearly answer the question. The most recent reports in the Latvian press indicate that representatives of Amoco and OPAB are expected in Riga in the next few days to finalize the contract. (13)

The two countries have been negotiating inconclusively since 1993 over the borders of their respective economic zones in the Baltic sea. In Lithuania’s view, an agreement made during the negotiations obligates both countries to desist from drilling for oil and gas pending a resolution of the dispute.

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