Monday, June 7, 2010

Russia wants global fund after Gulf oil spill

(Reuters) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev called on the world's leading economic powers on Saturday to consider creating a fund to insure against large-scale environmental disasters like the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

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"Perhaps we should consider setting up a global fund for insuring or re-insuring against these sorts of (environmental) risks," the president wrote in his official Kremlin blog.

Medvedev said he expected to raise the issue at a G20 summit in Canada later this month.

Russia, the world's leading oil producer, has paid close attention to BP's (BP.L) reaction to the Gulf spill, in part because 25 percent of the British energy giant's global output comes from its Moscow-based TNK-BP (TNBPI.RTS) joint venture.

Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin on Saturday said Russia would introduce stricter safety requirements for oil producers as a result of the Gulf spill, now considered the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history. [ID:nLDE65401Z]

Medvedev also called for the creation of a new legal framework to deal with such large-scale disasters.

"We need to put in place a modern framework of international law in this area, perhaps in the form of a convention or several agreements that will address issues of the kind arising from disasters such as that in the Gulf of Mexico," he wrote.

Leaders from the Group of 20 wealthy and developing nations are scheduled to meet in Toronto on June 25 and 26.

(Reporting by Alfred Kueppers; editing by Noah Barkin)

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