Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Moscow State University Law Prof. Gayane Davidyan Speaks to Comparative Environmental Law Course; Russia's Treatment of Natural Resources Explained

Moscow State University Law Professor Gayane Davidyan spoke recently about Russian environmental and natural resources law at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

Professor Davidyan explained to the Comparative Environmental Law course the nature of Russia's environmental and natural resources laws, noting in particular that during the years that Russia was a part of the Soviet Union all resources were owned by the state. Now, however, many resources are in private hands.

Moreover, Professor Davidyan pointed out that the Russian Constitution -- adopted in 1993 -- has provisions that apply specifically to the environment and natural resources more generally.

Russia has significant amounts of natural resources. For example nearly 20 percent of the world's oil and gas is produced in Russia.

One topic Professor Davidyan mentioned was the opportunity for foreign investment in Russia. She pointed to the landmark agreement announced last week between BP and Roseneft, the state oil group of Russia. As reported by the Financial Times, the tie up means that "the Kremlin [will] indirectly become the largest single shareholder in the U.K. company."

Don C. Smith, director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program, said, "It was a great pleasure for the University of Denver Sturm College of Law to host Professor Davidyan. Her observations about Russian environmental and natural resources issues were informative and insightful. All of us in Denver benefited from Professor Davidyan's visit and her engaging and captivating style. She raised our understanding about Russia's growing role in providing natural resources for the world."

Professor Davidyan was at DU as a Visiting Scholar for the The Ved Nanda Center for International and Comparative Law.

Editor's note: In the top picture Professor Davidyan is in the center of the picture; she is wearing a white blouse and dark sweater. The second picture is of Moscow State University.

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