Norway backs EU sanctions against Russia
Norwegian government will, once it has consulted with the the Norwegian Parliament, impose economic sanction against Russia, following the guidelines introduced by the EU on July 31.
“The Government will support the new EU restrictive measures against Russia. Norway has since the start of the crisis in Ukraine stood together with the EU and neighboring countries in our reactions to Russia’s violation of international law. We will do this time,” says Norway’s Foreign Minister Børge Brende.
As a reaction to Russia’s annexation of the Crimea and Sevastopol and destabilization in eastern Ukraine, the EU has adopted restrictive measures against Russia.
“Norway will implement the same measures as the EU introduced from 31 July,” Brende said.
To remind, on July 31, the EU said it would impose an embargo on the import and export of arms and related material from to Russia. It covers all items on the EU common military list. The measures also prohibit exports of dual use goods and technology for military use in Russia or to Russian military end-users. All items in the EU list of dual use goods are included.
Oil technology ban
According to the EU sanctions list, which Norway intends to copy, exports of certain energy-related equipment and technology to Russia will be subject to prior authorisation by competent authorities of Member States.
The sanctions also deny export licenses for products destined for deep water oil exploration and production, arctic oil exploration or production and shale oil projects in Russia.
Existing contracts remain in force?
However, the measures will only apply to new contracts. To remind, Rosneft and ExxonMobil yesterday began drilling operations in the Kara Sea, on the Russian Arctic Shelf, using the ‘West Alpha’ semi-submersible rig owned by a Norwegian company.
Rosneft’s CEO Igor Sechin described the beginning of the Kara Sea drilling as “the most important event of the year for the global oil and gas industry.”
The West Alpha rig was provided by the Norwegian company North Atlantic Drilling which signed 6 long-term agreements with Rosneft on 30 July 2014 for offshore drilling rigs. The total revenue potential for the six contracts exclusive of mobilization is approximately US$4.25 billion.
North Atlantic Drilling did not reply to an e-mail seeking comment, regarding the potential effects of the proposed sanctions on the company’s business with Rosneft.
In response to Western sanctions, Russia last week imposed a ban on imports of fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and dairy products from the EU countries, the US, Canada, Australia and Norway. The ban will be in place for a year.