St. Petersburg, 8 June 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Russia and Kazakhstan have signed an agreement on the transit of Kazakh oil through Russian territory. The agreement was signed as Russian President Vladimir Putin and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev met yesterday on the sidelines of a Eurasian regional security meeting in St. Petersburg. Putin told a news conference that the agreement suits both Russia and Kazakhstan.
Under the 15-year agreement, at least 17.5 million tons of Kazakh oil are to transit through Russia every year. The two countries also agreed to set up a joint gas company to process and transport Kazakh natural gas.
The ITAR-TASS news agency said the state-owned Kazakh KazMunayGaz company will own 50 percent of the new company, while Russia's Gazprom and the Rosneft oil company will split the remaining shares.