Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 152

Russia’s Lukoil company wants a 20 percent to 40 percent stake in an international consortium being formed by British Petroleum and Norwegian Statoil to develop Azerbaijan’s Shah-Deniz oil and gas field, one of the most promising in the Caspian Sea. The field’s recoverable reserves are estimated at 100 million tons of oil and 300 to 400 billion cubic meters of gas. The company and the Russian government have officially asked Azerbaijan’s government to include Lukoil in the project. In Kazakhstan, Lukoil has announced that it is negotiating with the country’s government and with the US Chevroil company to transfer to Lukoil up to 20 percent of their stakes in Tengiz, the country’s largest oilfield. Lukoil also announced that it wants to participate in a new consortium which would build a pipeline to export Tengiz oil to international markets through Russia. Back at its Moscow headquarters, Lukoil signed with the Moldovan government an agreement on supplying oil products to, and marketing them in, Moldova — building a network of service stations there, and investing in non-oil joint ventures in the country. President Mircea Snegur had pledged his personal support to LukOil’s involvement in Moldova at a meeting with company managers last month. Lukoil has recently made a similar agreement with Belarus. “The corporation attaches great significance to the agreement and considers it another step toward the economic integration of former Soviet republics,” management said. (10)

Ostpolitik Recrudescent? At the start of an official visit to Germany yesterday, Latvian president Guntis Ulmanis was told by his host, German president Roman Herzog, that Germany supports Latvia’s accession to the European Union but has reservations regarding its admission to NATO. “Latvia’s integration into NATO would contradict the development of lasting and stable relations with Russia,” Herzog was quoted as saying. Herzog advised Ulmanis that, in Germany’s view, “relations between the Baltic States and Russia are a highly important component of European stability.” (11) The goal of accession to NATO is fundamental to the Baltic states’ foreign and security policies. The German president does not make decisions in foreign policy, but the view expressed with unusual bluntness by Herzog on this matter is known to be shared by some Bonn officials.

Belarus Parliament Formed At Last.