Russian Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov assessed the results of the work of the Interior bodies of the Southern Federal District (SFD) to protect the oil and gas complex as unsatisfactory.
The Minister said this on Wednesday at the meeting of the Interior Ministry's Board.
"I can say that the results of the work of the Interior bodies of the SFD to protect the oil and gas complex from criminal encroachments cannot satisfy us," Gryzlov said.
According to him, the facilities of the oil and gas sector, situated in the SFD, are of strategic importance for the whole country. "Sizeable quantities of high-quality oil are extracted and refined here, and exportation oil pipelines pass via its territory," the Minister explained.
"But this sector, and together with it the region and the state as a whole, suffer sizeable economic losses as a result of the thefts of oil and oil products. It is an open secret that the oil and gas complex in general and especially its facilities situated in the SFD are listed among the most criminalized sectors of the economy," the Interior Minister noted.
"A considerable part of these facilities is controlled by organized criminal groups and criminal communities that receive immense incomes from the illegal extraction and sale of oil," the Minister stressed.
He highlighted the fact "the illegal production of oil and oil products has become a mass phenomenon in the region, and the number of illegal cuttings in oil pipelines keeps growing." "Along with doing economic damage, such actions seriously complicate the environmental situation in the region," Gryzlov said.
"Besides that, and this is, as a matter of fact, the most important, the illegal turnover of oil products is, as before, a source of financing the illegal armed formations in the Chechen republic," Gryzlov stressed.