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Russia: U.S. Supports Caspian Oil Involvement

Washington, 20 November 1997 (RFE/RL) - The U.S. government's top official for energy development in the former Soviet Union says Russia must be a major participant in developing oil and gas in the region.

Commerce Department counselor Jan Kalicki said, however, that Iran should not be involved in Caspian Sea development. He spoke at a news conference during an international meeting in Washington on Caspian Sea energy resources.

Kalicki said Iran is a competitor -- not a partner -- for Caspian oil and gas exports. Kalicki said Iran wants to exploit the urgent need of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to increase their exports.