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Russia’s government approves Rosneft, Novatek requests for aid from National Welfare Fund

MOSCOW, October 22. /TASS/. Russia’s Energy Ministry has approved requests from oil major Rosneft and gas producer Novatek for assistance from the National Welfare Fund, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Wednesday.

The requests were met and sent to the Economic Development Ministry for approval, Novak said.

Russia’s oil giant Rosneft and the country’s largest independent gas producer Novatek earlier requested assistance from the National Welfare Fund.

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 80-150 billion rubles ($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 will be fair to participate in this.”

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.