Dagestan war financed for Arab oil companies?

Aug 16, 1999 02:00 AM

A Russian newspaper has claimed that Islamic rebels fighting Russians in Dagestan are being financed by Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Turkey on behalf of Arab oil companies keen to wreck plans to transport Caspian oil through Russia.
According to the daily Segodnya, Chechen intruders seized several hillside villages last week in the Russian province of Dagestan. Their aim, according to the paper, is to deter the large-scale development of the Caspian Region because it would provoke a steep fall in world prices.
A second motive, according to the paper, is to ensure that if oil starts to flow, it is pumped through friendly states such as Turkey, rather than through Russia. Russia has already won a contract to transport early oil from Azerbaijan to the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk through an existing pipeline, part of which passes through Chechnya.
Last month, Russia stopped pumping oil through Chechnya because of thefts and started carrying it by railway through Dagestan. By creating trouble in Dagestan, the rebels were trying to cut off Russia's crucial link with the oil-producing Azerbaijan.
The latest intrusion caused a large-scale military response from Russian forces and an undertaking by Acting Prime Minister, Mr. Vladimir Putin that the rebels would be wiped out within two weeks.

Source: IINX via Iinoil
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