Alaska State Legislature

News From The Senate and House Majorities

Ken Freeman (907) 465-3804
Wendy Lindskoog (907) 465-4582
State Capitol
Juneau, AK 99801
web site:
http://www.akrepublicans.org
Actuality line: 1-800-478-6540

Alaska Delegation Visits Sakhalin Russia To Promote Trade

For Immediate Release: April 16, 1997 Contact: Ken Freeman (907) 465-3804 or Wendy Lindskoog (907) 465-4582

JUNEAU - Trade, technology and local governance were among the top subjects of meetings between a delegation of Alaska companies and government leaders and their Russian counterparts on Sakhalin Island in Russia's Far East.

A group of Alaska business leaders along with House Speaker Gail Phillips, Senate President Mike Miller and Governor Tony Knowles, traveled to this oil-rich island to promote trade and build relations, April 12-15.

Phillips and Miller said the purpose of the trip was to establish both government and business relations between Alaska and Sakhalin.

"Sakhalin Island is at a place Alaska was in its oil industry about twenty years ago," said Speaker Phillips. "Alaska is probably in the best position to help the Sakhalin oil and gas industry get going in the right direction - one that includes environmentally responsible development. In doing so, we also provide the opportunity to create jobs for Alaskans," said Phillips.

"This was a very productive trade mission and well worth our time to establish working relations with our neighbors to the East," said Senator Miller. "I think it was important that I, along with Speaker Phillips and Governor Knowles, accompanied many business leaders to demonstrate the support Alaska's private sector has from state government."

Phillips said upon her return she will be forwarding copies of Alaska statutes to Sakhalin, reprinted in Russian.

"I was very surprised when we met with the Legislative leaders (Duma) that they wanted our help to establish basic laws of governance. They have really looked at Alaska as a model to follow. They want laws to fight crime, provide social services, and protect the environment," said Speaker Phillips.

"Many of the members of their Duma had been representatives before the decline of Communism in the U.S.S.R. It is very exciting to see their enthusiasm at the opportunity to make a democracy in their region. They are working to create a system that promotes local governance and a free economy," said Phillips.

Senator Miller said a wide range of Alaska companies participated on the trade mission - from oil field service businesses to telecommunications firms.

Sakhalin is the site of four major oil and gas development projects in which several international oil companies, including Exxon, Mobil, Texaco and Marathon Oil, are already involved.

Sakhalin Island is located just north of Japan off the coast of the Russian Far East.

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