Feb. 17: "Transneft Claims Pipeline Victory, to Triple BPS Capacity"
Yukos chairman Mikhail Khodorkovsky on Friday repeated the offer to take the responsibility for building pipelines off the government's hands. "If you don't have the money to build pipelines, let us do it," he said.
The Cabinet, meanwhile, has shown no willingness to relinquish control over the country's export routes.
Feb. 17: "Putin Says Gazprom Too Powerful to Break Up"
"Gazprom, as a strategically important company, should be kept, and has been kept, as a single organism," Putin said.
Feb. 20: "Tycoons Talk Corruption in Kremlin"
The so-called union of oligarchs rolled into the Kremlin on Wednesday night to chat about corruption, a problem the president said needed time to fix. [...] Yukos head Mikhail Khodorkovsky said the government "must be willing to show its readiness to get rid of some odious figures" in the government to prove its readiness to combat corruption, "even though corruption is one of the hardest crimes to prove." [...] Putin also took the opportunity to fire a few shots across big business's bow. "I would like to hear concrete suggestions from you about what we should do, not just criticism," he said. "I know there's going to be criticism tonight, and I too can criticize." [...] Khodorkovsky said he and other business leaders share some of the blame for government corruption.
"You can say that it all started with us," The Associated Press quoted him as saying. "Well, it started at some point and now it must be ended. The situation has come to a head."
Mar. 11: "Transneft Seen Constricting Oil Exports"
State pipeline monopoly Transneft is not building oil pipelines quickly enough to handle rising output, forcing Moscow to face continuing domestic gluts and a cap on significantly higher exports, Alfa Bank said Friday.
Mar. 12: "FSB Looks An Awful Lot Like The KGB"
President Vladimir Putin announced that the Federal Security Service, or FSB, will take over the entire Federal Border Service and parts of the Federal Agency for Government Communications and Information, or FAPSI.
Mar. 14, 2003: "Crucial Pipeline Call Put Off Till May"
The Cabinet on Thursday delayed choosing between rival pipeline projects aimed at supplying energy-starved economic giants Japan and China, saying it didn't yet have enough information to decide.
[...] But with powerful oil major Yukos backing the China link, and gas giant Gazprom and state-owned oil major Rosneft pushing a dual gas-oil Nakhodka link, the government is looking for a compromise that will please everyone.
Mar. 17: "Illarionov Urges Private Investment in Pipelines"
Russia's oil and gas pipeline network should be built and operated by both public and private companies and not kept as a preserve of the state, President Vladimir Putin's top economic adviser Andrei Illarionov argued Friday.
Mar. 27: "Risking It All for a Couple of Billion"
"I don't have to go to the president anymore to ask whether there will be a redistribution of property,." [said Khodorkovsky] . "Now I go to the prime minister to hammer out details for pipeline routes." As he tells it, he too has undergone a transformation. "Society expects not only success but social responsibility from its most high-profile members," [he said.]
Mar. 28: "Nemtsov Supports Pipe Dreams"
At a packed Moscow conference Thursday, Khodorkovsky and Nemtsov joined forces to lash out at the government for slowing down on rooting out corruption through administrative reform and failing to do enough to support small and medium businesses, which, they warned, could lead to growing unemployment and social unrest.
And, at the same time, they called for a decision to be made on pipeline construction as a key way of pulling the economy out of stagnation. [...] As the rift over pipelines continues, there has been speculation that Khodorkovsky may start his own political career in time for elections in 2008. On Thursday, however, he denied his appearance at Nemtsov's conference marked the start of his political career. "I am here to talk about a very narrow issue," he said. "Just about oil."