The Russian oil company Ritek sold 6.4 percent of its shares to LUKoil for $7.5m, the Ritek's press service reported. The shares were bought by Ritek from one of the Tatneft's shareholders for $7m in December 2002. Ritek spent $7.82m to buy out 7 percent of its shares since September 2002. Meanwhile, the share prices gained 50 percent during this period. The company intends to spend some $5m to buy out 3 percent more of its stocks in 2003.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a briefing in Beijing that the question about the shipment of S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems to Syria had not been resolved yet. However, Syrian Ambassador to Russia Riyad Haddad said that S-300 missile systems had been delivered to Syria last month
Representatives of the Israeli Defence Ministry responded to recent reports about the possible delivery of S-300 SAM systems from Russia to Syria. Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that Israel would destroy those systems