Will Russia, North and South Koreas by Partners Forever?
Countries of the Asia Pacific region have been longing to get resources of Eastern Siberia and Russia’s Far East for a long period already. Especially that these resources are situated quite close to these countries. And the only problem in this situation is that Russia hasn’t enough resources to arrange extraction of these resources. And until now Russia’s authorities were not a success with establishment of economic partnership and investments for resources extraction. At least, oil companies from America and other countries are still reluctant to invest in this sphere. That is why Russian authorities decided to look into quite a different direction.
Russia’s news agency RIA Novosti learnt from the Ministry for Energy’s press-service that Russian export policy concerning gas supplies to the Asia Pacific region countries was discussed at the 5th session of the Russian-Korean Committee for Energy and Resources Cooperation. Such stable gas supplies would undoubtedly allow Asiatic investors to consider advantages of long-term investment in Russia at a different angle.
Korea is particularly interested in the sphere, which is proved by the fact that participants of the recent session agreed on joint development of a program for creation of a united system for gas production and transportation in Eastern Siberia and in Russia’s Far East. It is planned that gas will be exported to the markets of the Asia Pacific countries.
Russia also tried to attract Korea’s attention to the prospects of development of the Sakhalin shelf oil and gas fields. The recent demarche of the Sakhalin-2 project’s operator, Sakhalin Energy (majority of its capital is Japanese) has greatly marred the reputation of such projects held jointly with Russia. Under these conditions, Russia invited Korean investors to participate in the international tenders for the right to develop the Sakhalin Shelf and also to participate in works contracts. It is an open secret that South Korea is greatly interested in increase of liquefied gas supplies to its market.
Plans for participation of Korean companies in development of Russia’s coal industry were also touched upon at the discussion. Korea wants to establish regular supplies of Russian coal and also intends to invest in Russia’s coal industry. Development of cooperation in the electric energy sphere was on the agenda of the meeting as well; energy exchange between Russia’s Far East, North and South Koreas was actively discussed there.
The very fact that construction of the Angarsk-Datsin oil pipeline by Russia’s oil company Yukos is frozen for an uncertain period, the intention recently voiced by President Putin to lay a pipeline not to China but to a Russian Far Eastern port to make export of carbohydrates to other countries of the Asia Pacific region easier, prove that the Korean lobby plans to reduce China’s participation in the Russian fuel and energy complex at any price.
Ahtyam Ahtyrov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://economics.pravda.ru/economics/2002/7/21/64/3975_resourses.html