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MOSCOW, September 17. /ITAR-TASS/. The Russian oil major Rosneft on Wednesday rejected media reports that it had held talks on the purchase of oil firm Bashneft.
“We have never held any talks with Bashneft,” Rosneft spokesman Mikhail Leontyev said in an interview with Business FM radio station.
The statement follows after the speculation that Rosneft run by Igor Sechin, a close ally of President Vladimir Putin, was interested in buying Bashneft.
Bashneft is controlled by the Russian diversified holding company Sistema (System), whose head and majority owner Vladimir Yevtushenkov was placed under house arrest on Tuesday.
Yevtushenkov, who is ranked by Forbes as Russia’s 15th richest man with an estimated fortune of $9 billion, is accused of involvement in a money-laundering scheme with the assets of oil companies in the Urals Republic of Bashkortostan, which are now part of Bashneft oil producer controlled by the tycoon.
The Sistema management issued a statement on Wednesday saying that the privatization of the BashTEK group of oil companies in Bashkortostan was lawful and transparent.
Sistema is cooperating with the investigative authorities and intends to use all legal means to defend its position, the company’s statement said.