MOSCOW, October 18 (RIA Novosti commentator Peter Lavelle).
Minister of Natural Resources Yury Trutnev announced on Monday that the ministry had developed criteria by which natural resource deposits would be classified as strategic and designed to restrict foreign participation is generally welcomed by market watchers. At the same time, some voiced concern that Trutnev's comments remained relatively vague and open to misinterpretation.
Trutnev also said TNK-BP would be classed as a foreign investor as the majority of the company is controlled by British Petroleum and Access Industries. However, he said LUKoil, which also has a significant presence of foreign shareholders, would be treated as a Russian company.
Though slightly disappointing for the TNK-BP Holding, which is now barred from participation in the tender for the major Chayadinskoye oil field, the announcements were largely expected and have no significant implications for Russia's oil and gas stocks.
Another investor concern is that the minister made no mention of a comprehensive list of fields under consideration. The government plans to compile such a list in a separate law at a later stage.