Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 122

Lithuanian prime minister Adolfas Slezevicius told a Vilnius briefing yesterday that according to the latest assurances from his Latvian counterpart Maris Gailis, licenses which the Latvian government is about to award to Amoco and OPAB oil companies for prospecting the disputed offshore area would not take effect until after the demarcation of Latvia’s and Lithuania’s zones. Gailis did not reject Lithuania’s suggestion to appeal to international arbitration, but the two prime ministers agreed to continue efforts to resolve the dispute on a bilateral basis. (8)

Gailis’s position appears to amend the stand he had taken during the preceding days, when he had said that Latvia would delay signing the contracts pending the resolution of the dispute with Lithuania over their mutual maritime border. However, officials of the US Amoco and Swedish OPAB companies have in the past two days conducted negotiations in Riga and are expected so sign the contracts with Latvian officials imminently.

Mixed Signals From Minsk.