Russia interested in Poland's Lotos fuels: Medvedev

6th December 2010, Comments 0 comments

Russia is interested in participating in the privatization of Lotos, Poland's second largest fuels group, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Monday during a landmark state visit.

"To my knowledge, Russian energy companies are interested in the privatization of Lotos," he told a joint press conference with his Polish counterpart Bronislaw Komorowski.

He was responding to a question about the intentions of Russian fuels giants Gazprom and Rosneft.

"We are interested to see Russian companies invest in Poland -- why not on the stock market?" Medvedev added.

The Kremlin leader arrived Monday for the first state visit by a Russian president in Poland in almost nine years, part of Moscow's move to strengthen co-operation with the European Union and NATO, and signalling Poland's growing importance within the EU.

In late October, the Polish Treasury launched a tender for the sale of 53 percent of its shares in the Lotos Group. Investors have until February 4 to submit their offers.

Lotos is the majority owner of the Gdansk oil refinery in the northern Polish Baltic Sea port city of the same name, built in the 1970s during the communist era to ease dependence on Russian oil. At the time, the refinery processed crude oil imported from the United Arab Emirates.

Lotos has nearly 5,000 employees and controls PetroBaltic, which searches for oil and gas in the Baltic Sea.

© 2010 AFP

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