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Russian oil giant Rosneft requested over $48.8 billion in financial aid from the country’s National Welfare Fund amid western sanctions imposed on the energy sector.
Russia’s Energy Ministry on Wednesday approved requests from Rosneft and gas producer Novatek for assistance from the fund. According to Energy Minister Alexander Novak, the requests were sent to the Economic Development Ministry for approval.
Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin told TASS the oil company had requested the government to provide funds on a repayable basis. Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said Rosneft and Novatek will be able to receive $1.9-3.6 billion from the National Welfare Fund already this year.
Lukoil Vice-President Leonid Fedun said on Wednesday the country’s largest privately-owned oil company might also file a request for financial aid.
Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of the Russian gas monopoly Gazprom, earlier said it had not requested support from the National Welfare Fund but if funds were allocated for the oil industry, it would also apply for financial assistance.
The sectoral sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union against Russia bar Russian state-owned energy companies and banks from raising long-term financing on Western markets. The same sanctions apply to Russian private firms whose owners were blacklisted by the US and the EU.
The West announced new sectoral sanctions against Russia in late July over Moscow’s position on Ukrainian events, in particular, what the West claimed was Moscow’s alleged involvement in the Ukrainian crisis.