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Page added on February 12, 2010

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Medvedev backs tighter oil controls, no action yet

OMSK, Russia (Reuters) – President Dmitry Medvedev lent support to the idea of tightening state control over oil and refined products exports but stopped short on Friday of adopting proposals that would have effectively restored the Soviet-era monopoly.

“I support (Deputy Prime Minister) Igor Ivanovich Sechin on issues of supply control,” Medvedev said at a meeting on energy with top government officials and oil executives of the world’s largest energy producer.

“We need to decriminalise the industry,” said Medvedev, adding he regularly received complaints of machinations such as exports of expensive fuel being declared to Russian customs as low quality fuel.

Government and industry sources told Reuters the meeting had been due to discuss Sechin’s idea of tightening state control over oil and refined products exports flows.

According to a document obtained by Reuters on Friday, Sechin, Russia’s top energy official, held a meeting in early January with energy and transport ministers, officials from the FSB security service, formerly known as the KGB, as well as customs officials to discuss new export rules.

Under the proposals made in January the state would take full control over coordination of exports of refined products in addition to its current overwhelming control over oil exports.


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