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Russia: LUKoil Calls For Pipeline Security Pact

Baku, 5 September 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Russia's LUKoil today called for Russia and the United States to sign a pact to protect major international oil pipelines. Speaking in the Azerbaijani capital Baku, LUKoil chief Vagit Alekperov said the issue could become a major international problem if militant groups attempted to disrupt the world economy by attacking key oil pipelines.

U.S. forces in Iraq have been beset with sabotage along pipelines there as have Russian officials with a pipeline running through the restive republic of Chechnya.

Alekperov said Russia and the U.S. need to develop common security principles for the world pipeline infrastructure.

Alekperov said the issue would "definitely" be raised when Russian President Vladimir Putin goes to the U.S. at the end of September to meet U.S. President George W. Bush and attend a meeting of the UN General Assembly.