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Rosneft may get money from National Welfare Fund — Putin

November 14, 2014, 12:31 UTC+3 VLADIVOSTOK
“We inspected the financial status of Rosneft recently and didn’t find any problems there whatsoever," Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an exclusive interview with TASS
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© ITAR-TASS/Nikolai Nikitin

VLADIVOSTOK, November 14. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an exclusive interview with TASS that he does not rule out Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft could receive money from the National Welfare Fund, but the amount and terms will be worked out without hurry.

Putin said he spoke to the government and to Rosneft about the issue.

“The government will take decisions not only with account of requirements of the corporation, which we treasure and which we’ll help without any doubt. It will also watch its practical activity and see how it’s going to invest and what benefits the entire national economy will get from this investment,” he said.

“This will be tangible assessment and I don’t rule out Rosneft may get some funds. Yet their size, amount, and terms will demand scrutiny, and hurry is ruled out in this matter,” Putin said.

He said the fact that Rosneft requested the National Welfare Fund’s money is normal. “If I were a Rosneft CEO, I would request money, too. Why not? Who doesn’t ask for it now? Everyone’s asking for money and hoping to get it,” Putin said.

He said Rosneft has no financial problems. “We inspected the financial status of Rosneft recently and didn’t find any problems there whatsoever. Simply no financial problems. And if they need more money, I’d like to say once again they must prove the funds will be spent for well-specified purposes if they get them and there will be returns for the entire economy, on top of returns for the company,” Putin said.

“You know, in the context of my visit to China, Rosneft is arranging an agreement with a major Chinese corporation on getting a 10% stake in the Vankor oilfield project. Along with the stake, the Chinese will get seats on the board of directors,” the Russian president said.

“But we are also making arrangements on selling oil from that deposit for yuans. The amounts to be sold are really big. In this situation, our Chinese partners will be prepared to issue loans and to finance many transactions,” he said.

“Secondly, we’re moving away from the diktat of the market that denominates all the commercial oil flows in the US dollars. We’re boosting as much as possible the use of national currencies — both the ruble and the yuan,” Putin said.

Earlier, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said Rosneft hopes to get some 2 trillion rubles ($42.8 billion) for development of its projects. Later media carried reports that Rosneft’s request grew to 2.4 trillion rubles ($51.4 billion).

According to Finance Ministry data, as of October 1, 2014, the aggregate volume of the National Welfare Fund totaled around 3.28 trillion rubles ($70.2 billion at current rates).

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