Opposition to Lukoil stake purchase idiotic: Medvedev

2nd March 2009, Comments 0 comments

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev slams opposition to Lukoil’s bid to buy a stake in Spain’s Repsol as ‘idiotic’.

MADRID – Russian President Dmitry Medvedev slammed opposition to energy giant Lukoil's bid to buy a stake in Spain's Repsol as "idiotic", in an interview published Sunday, ahead of an official visit to the country.

"I heard that this investment pleased some and others acted according to stereotypes and the logic that 'the Russians are coming' and 'this is dangerous for the independence of the state', etcetera," he told Spanish daily El Pais.

"I think this is a harmful and idiotic logic, call it what you want, because dividing investors into good and bad, correct and incorrect, is lifting a new Berlin wall in the economy," he added.

Medvedev, who arrives in Spain late Sunday for an official visit, added he would like to see the amount of investment between Russia and Spain increase in diverse areas.

"The greater the amount of investment, the greater the level of security in Europe, because if countries are linked by common businesses, there is no reason for conflicts," he said.

Late last year Lukoil said it was interested in buying a 20 percent stake in Repsol, Spain's largest oil group, but it eventually dropped its bid after the deal met with stiff opposition from Spain's conservative opposition party and some members of Spain's Socialist government.

While Lukoil is privately owned, the company has close ties to the Kremlin which alarmed opponents of the deal who argued the company risked falling under Russian state control if the deal went ahead.

By comparison last week Italian energy giant Enel took control of Endesa, Spain's second-biggest utility, in a deal which did not meet with opposition from the government of Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.

AFP / Expatica

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