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What's New! Vol. 4, No. 1

January 2005
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1) Out of Court Settlement for ECA Watchdog: UK Corruption Standard May Have Been Weakened Under Corporate Pressure

2) Russia Orders Oil Pipeline to Pacific

3)Sakhalin Update:

- 3a) Radioactive Devices Detained on Sakhalin for Second Time in 2 Months; Daewoo President Arrested for Sakhalin II Equipment Incident

- 3b) Indigenous Protest of Sakhalin Oil Pending

-3c) Sakhalin Energy, JBIC to Sign Sakhalin-2 Finance Agreement

4) UK’s ECGD Insures Saudi Military

5) Chinese ECA Signs Deal to Gain Access to Power, Oil, Gas, Mines in Pakistan

6)ECAs Join Paris Club to Agree on Debt Relief to Tsunami-Hit Nations

7) Balkan Pipeline Agreement Signed

8)Japanese and Chinese Investment Climate Warming

 

—View Back Issues of What's New—

1. Out of Court Settlement for ECA Watchdog: UK Corruption Standard May Have Been Weakened Under Corporate Pressure Jan. 13, 2005 (Financial Times, UK) - The anti-corruption watchdog Corner House claimed a "great victory in the public interest" yesterday, after settling out of court a UK High Court action over the way new procedures on bribery and corruption were introduced. During the procedures, "devastating" documents - which deal with communications between the UK Department of Trade and Industry, the UK ECA ECGD, and business - clearly demonstrated that the recent weakening of ECGD corruption controls had been "a political decision". British companies such as BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce lobbied ECGD fiercely and successfully for the corruption measures to be watered-down this past November. As well as agreeing to a fresh consultation with Corner House, the ECGD agreed to pay its legal costs.

3a

Dec. 30, 2004 (MosNews, Russia) - A South Korean business man was found to be smuggling radioactive instruments into the Russian port of Korsakov in southern Sakhalin for the second time in two months.Previously in November Russian Information Agency (RIA) Novosti reported that the radioactive equipment imported without proper permits was intended for use by the South Korean company Daewoo to check pipe welding quality for Sakhalin II. In mid-December the Sakhalin Independent reported that the Daewoo equipment was ordered to be sent out of Russia, as it couldn’t safely remain on Sakhalin.On December 30th, 2004, Sakhalin.ru reported [link in Russian] that Sakhalin Customs Authorities had arrested the local head of Daewoo for the November incident, and that on Dec 21st, the local Transport Department Public Defender’s Office had filed suit against the company. Sakhalin II, the world’s largest oil and gas project, is seeking up to USD $5B in public financing from the Export Credit Agencies of the US, UK, and Japan, as well as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

3bIndigenous Protest of Sakhalin Oil Pending

Dec. 8, 2004 (RIA Novosti, Russia) – Native minority groups on Sakhalin island announced in December that they are planning a protest of the disruption of their traditional way of life by the oil and gas developments on the island. The oil and gas fields and the sites of their infrastructure on the Sakhalin shelf and island overlap with critical pasture land, fishing zones and breeding and spawning grounds of valuable fish species, primarily salmon. Fishing and the production and processing of biological marine resources are the traditional pillars of the economy and livelihood for tens of thousands of Sakhalin residents, including the minority peoples of the island. As of January 2005, the protest action is still being planned. On Dec. 28, 2004, the indigenous communities of Sakhalin sent this letter to the Japanese ECA JBIC protesting their financing of the second phase of Sakhalin II.

3c Sakhalin Energy, JBIC to Sign Sakhalin II Finance Agreement

Dec. 17, 2004 (Sakhalin Times, Russia) - The Sakhalin Energy Investment Company and the Japanese ECA JBIC are finalizing plans for Sakhalin II project financing, according to the Sakhalin Administration. Sakhalin Energy is holding talks with other international banks, but JBIC is alleged to intend to finance a significant amount of what is required for the second phase of the project.

4. UK’s ECGD Insures Saudi Military

5. Chinese ECA Signs Deal to Gain Access to Power, Oil, Gas, Mines in Pakistan

6. ECAs Join Paris Club to Agree on Debt Relief to Tsunami-Hit Nations

7. Balkan Pipeline Agreement Signed

8. Japanese and Chinese Investment Climate Warming

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