MOSCOW, April 17. /TASS/. Imported equipment for oil and gas production in Russia became an item for political struggle and the oil and gas sector turned into the main target of sanctions pressure on Russia, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Friday.
"We are in a fundamentally different situation at present: equipment for hydrocarbons production has essentially become a token of political struggle and political bargaining," the prime minister said. "Oil and gas sector along with finance, taking into account its significance for the budget, became the main target of sanctions pressure on Russia," Medvedev added.
"We are traditionally purchasing many kinds of equipment for prospecting, exploration and production of mineral resources abroad. I regret saying Russian products are not free from criticism. Our companies are not always able to offer competitive solutions," the prime minister said.
"Furthermore, companies have to partly reconsider their procurement policy because of the decline of global oil prices and the ruble devaluation," Medvedev said.
Along with complications, such a situation gave an opportunity to implement the import substitution program, the prime minister added.
Relevant plans and roadmaps were approved, the prime minister said. "It is important to secure efficient implementation of such plans," Medvedev said, urging ministries, agencies, research institutes and oil and gas companies to work in cooperation. "A number of process methods and machinery items comparable with foreign counterparts has been developed recently with the government support," the prime minister said.