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Ukrainian Parliament Bans Sale Of Gas-Pipeline System --> Opposition deputies in the Verkhovna Rada forced a vote on the legislation today (TV screen shot) February 6, 2007 -- Ukraine's parliament has passed a law to ban the privatization, sale, or lease of the country's gas-pipeline system.

The legislation was backed by 430 deputies in the 450-seat chamber. There were no votes against.

About 80 percent of Russian gas destined for Europe is sent via Ukraine and Russia's state-controlled Gazprom gas monopoly has long wanted to acquire control over the Ukrainian transit gas-pipeline system.

The legislation was initiated by the opposition following Russian President Vladimir Putin's remarks last week that Ukraine was ready to set up a joint gas venture with Russia to manage the gas pipelines across its soil.

Supporters of opposition leader Yuliya Tymoshenko briefly blocked parliamentary activity earlier in the day to force a vote on the legislation.

(Reuters, UNIAN)
The Post-Soviet Petrostate

The oil-export terminal at Primorsk, Russia (TASS)

WEALTH AND POWER. At an RFE/RL briefing in Washington on January 24, Freedom House Director of Studies Christopher Walker and RFE/RL regional analyst Daniel Kimmage argued that energy-sector wealth is preventing many former Soviet countries -- Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan -- from developing strong democratic institutions.


Listen to the entire briefing (about 90 minutes):
Real Audio Windows Media


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