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Russia Considering Legal Probe Of Sakhalin-2

Russia's Federation Council discussed the Sakhalin-2 project on October 20 (ITAR-TASS) October 27, 2006 -- The Russian Prosecutor-General's Office says it might open a criminal case over possible ecological crimes during the implementation of the Sakhalin-2 project.

Prosecutor-General's Office spokeswoman Marina Gridneva, told Interfax today that the office "plans to inspect materials provided by Natural Resources Ministry on ecological violations."

However, she said that materials have not yet been received from the ministry.

On October 25, Natural Resources Minister Yury Trutnev said Sakhalin-2 materials would be submitted to prosecutors within two weeks.

British oil giant Shell and Japanese firms Mitsui and Mitsubishi face Russian allegations of violating the county's environmental laws.

Russian authorities revoked a key environmental permit for the Sakhalin-2 project in late September, citing environmental violations.

Environmental groups back the claims, but critics accuse Moscow of using the allegations to help state gas company Gazprom muscle in on the project.

(AP, Interfax)

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