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MOSCOW, October 22. /TASS/. Russian oil and gas companies may seek financial aid from the country’s National Welfare Fund (NWF) amid Western sanctions, Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said on Wednesday.
“The government is ready to consider proposals on projects in the oil and gas sector,” Dvorkovich said at the national oil and gas forum.
The government has received proposals from Russia’s largest independent gas producer Novatek and oil giant Rosneft, Dvorkovich said, adding the “government will consider them seriously.”
The Western sanctions imposed on Russia over its stance on developments in neighboring Ukraine bar major Russian companies and banks from raising medium- and long-term financing on international capital markets.
However, Russia’s National Wealth Fund cannot be stretched to everyone vying for money, Dvorkovich noted. “Nowadays in any discussion, be it about the oil and gas sector, transport or agriculture, the NWF is mentioned as a source. It will not suffice for everything. It is large, but it is only part of our reserves, and only up to 60% can be invested in projects,” Dvorkovich said.
“Moreover, some money has already been laid under obligation for several infrastructure projects,” he added. As of October 2014, the NWF exceeded $83.2 billion.