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FSB says it saved Arkhangelsk diamonds

The Federal Security Services in Arkhangelsk says it has revealed and stopped an attempt to swindle the company Arkhangelskgeoldobycha of its license to the huge Verkhotinskoe diamond field in the region.

Meanwhile, in the background lures a corporate conflict between company majors Lukoil and De Beers. According to the FSB, investigations have been initiated against an Israeli citizen who reportedly tried to swindle the Arkhangelskgeoldobycha, a regional subsidiary of Russian oil major Lukoil. The man attempted to make the Russian company re-register the license to the field, Vedomosti reports with reference to the FSB sources. The Verkhotinskoe diamond field located north in Arkhangelsk Oblast has reserves worth about 5 billion USD. The Arkhangelsk diamonds have been the subject for year-long conflict between Arkhangelskgeoldobycha and foreign investors. In 1993, the company established the company “Amazny Bereg” together with the Canadian-registered Archangel Diamond Corporation (ADC) on a 60-40 percent deal. However, the Russian company never handed over the license to the new company as agreed upon, resulting in a court suit from the Canadian side. In 2002, Lukoil bought 100 percent of the Arkhangelskgeoldobycha. Not long after, diamond giant De Beers bougth the Archangel Diamond Corporation, taking the corporate conflict to new hights. Analysts now believe a compromise is in the pipeline and that De Beers might get 49,99 percent of the project before December this year.