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“We are not considering such proposals because no one made them to us,” Sechin said in response to a question about a possible purchase of Bashneft.
Market participants had long known about problems experienced by Bashneft, the Rosneft chief said.
Bashneft, a mid-sized oil company based in the Urals Republic of Bashkortostan, currently integrates the republic’s former energy companies which, as investigators say, were privatized with serious violations of law.
Bashneft is controlled by AFK Sistema holding company whose manager and owner Vladimir Yevtushenkov is currently under house arrest on charges of legalizing toxic funds received during the acquisition of Bashneft.
“It was known that there were privatization risks and risks of tax claims, that is, a criminal tail. And the market knew about these skeletons in the cupboard,” Sechin said. “I believe this is why we had never considered buying this asset,” the Rosneft chief said. “But Vladimir Yevtushenkov is a very wise man and an experienced entrepreneur. I believe he weighed all risks when taking a decision on the acquisition,” Sechin said.
The Rosneft head also said he hoped that this problem would be settled on the basis of law.
“We continue working with AFK Sistema. It is our communications operator. We receive infrastructure and logistics services from them. We are cooperating with the bank that is part of AFK Sistema Group. And this cooperation is beneficial and mutually advantageous,” Sechin said.