Not So Great Britain

Russia gives Gazprom right to form armed units

July 6, 2007
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Russia’s parliament handed gas giant Gazprom the right to form its own armed units on Wednesday with a law one legislator said opened a “Pandora’s box” that could lead to the creation of a private army.A law backed by 341 lawmakers in the 450-seat State Duma lower house of parliament gave Gazprom, and oil pipeline monopoly Transneft, special exemption from strict limits on private businesses wielding arms.

The two state-controlled companies will for the first time be allowed to employ their own armed operatives instead of contracting an outside security firm. Their armed units will also have access to more weapons and more freedom to use them than private security companies.


Posted in Oil, Russia

US Congress bids to punish foreign oil firms linked to Iran

June 29, 2007
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US legislation aiming to punish foreign energy companies that do business with Iran took a step forward Tuesday as lawmakers attacked the Islamic republic’s nuclear drive and “terrorism.”The foreign affairs panel of the House of Representatives passed the proposed law by 37 votes to one, with Democrats and Republicans alike accusing Iran of using energy investment for nefarious ends.

“Foreign investment in Iran equals money for terrorism and attacks on Americans,” Democrat Gary Ackerman said.

“Investment in Iran’s petroleum sector enables that country to pursue nuclear weapons, to arm insurgents fighting American troops, and to underwrite Hezbollah and Hamas,” he said.

Posted in Iran, Oil

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