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will become useless," the expert said.
If Gazprom loses Turkmen

will become useless," the expert said.
If Gazprom loses Turkmen gas, it will have to step up the development of its shelf deposits and the Kovykta field and it does not have funds to do this now. Gazprom has not launched the development of the Shtokman and Kovykta gas condensate deposits as it could meet its obligations with the help of Turkmen gas supplies, Abzalov noted.

Vremya Novostei

Baghdad pushing Moscow to write off Iraq's debt

Iraq's Oil Minister Hussein al-Shahristani is claiming that the Iraqi government no longer considers LUKoil's contract to develop the giant Western Qurna-2 oil deposit valid. But it looks as if this is only part of the bargaining between Moscow and Baghdad over the issue of Iraqi sovereign debt.
Earlier, too, Iraq had said the LUKoil contract was null and void and the Russian company, under a new law on oil, would have to take part in all tenders under the general regulations. But this law is not yet passed: the Iraqi parliament has been unable to reach a consensus for more than a year now, and Mr. al-Shahristani appears to be doing no more than expressing the stand of the law's drafters.
This year, both Russian and Iraqi officials have begun to say at an unofficial level that they link the issue of LUKoil's rights to Iraqi oil with a writing off of Baghdad's sovereign debt to Moscow totaling $13 billion.
Russia, like all Paris Club members, has undertaken to pardon 80% of the debt in one stroke and 20% by degrees, but things got stalled over documents not being available to fulfill the obligation.
The reason why Russian-Iraqi relations are floundering is that neither side risks taking the first step.
Moscow is afraid of pardoning the debt in case the situation changes and the LUKoil contract is canceled, with the company getting nothing.
Baghdad is refusing to honor the contract unless there are guarantees the debt will be written off; and its ministers, by their statements, are provoking Russia to take the first step.
LUKoil yesterday said in a statement that it had received no notice of a Western Qurna-2 contract termination.
Earlier, LUKoil had repeatedly said the contract was sound because its cancelation was only possible at the Geneva International Court, to which no one had appealed.


RIA Novosti is not responsible for the content of outside sources.


Print will become useless," the expert said.<br />
If Gazprom loses Turkmen Bookmark will become useless," the expert said.<br />
If Gazprom loses Turkmen

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