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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Vilnius Fine With LUKoil Drilling in Baltic

APAlgirdas Brazauskas shaking hands with Mikhail Kasyanov on Tuesday, the second day of a three-day working visit to Russia.
The Lithuanian government will not interfere with LUKoil's plans to develop the D-6 offshore oil field on the Baltic Sea shelf, Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Brazauskas told Izvestia in an interview published Tuesday.

Lithuania "has no right" to pressure Russia over the project, since it is situated on Russian territory, he said.

The visiting prime minister said he had discussed the issue, which has outraged environmentalists, with LUKoil CEO Vagit Alekperov and Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov during his trip to Russia.

LUKoil announced earlier this year that it plans to begin exploiting the field, which is near the Curonian Spit, a UNESCO world heritage site that Lithuania and Kaliningrad share.

The venture, projected to produce 600,000 to 700,000 tons of crude per year for three decades, has rankled Lithuanians, who object to the platform's proposed construction site, which is 22 kilometers from the spit and 7 kilometers from the international maritime border.

But Brazauskas said Lithuanian experts have studied the project and concluded that it conforms to European Union standards.

LUKoil plans to begin drilling by the end of the year.