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Kremlin refuses to comment on Rosneft and Bashneft privatization plans

First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said earlier a great number of foreign investors showed interest in privatization of Russian oil companies

BISHKEK, September 16. /TASS/. Presidential spokesman Peskov declined to comment on privatization plans for Rosneft and Bashneft.

"This is a question that needs to be addressed to the Government," Presidential spokesman said. According to him, privatization plans are "the prerogative of the Government." "The president has stated his opinion, after that it is a prerogative of the Government," he added.

Peskov also confirmed that the government makes a decision on privatization.

Head of VTB Andrey Kostin told TASS at the Eastern Economic Forum 2016 that Japanese companies might be interested in privatization of Russian assets, improvement in the geopolitical situation in relations with Russia is necessary.

"Of course, they might be interested. So far, there are political constraints for the Japanese partners. If the situation changes, we will see more of Japanese capital in Russia, and especially here, in the Far East," he said.

First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said earlier noted the increased interest of investors from Asian countries in participating in privatization of Russian oil companies.

"In the framework of the forum, Asian investors have told us about the possibility of participating in privatization, including our oil companies. Our neighbors and companies from these countries are very interested in participating in our privatization deals," he said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the decision to sell stakes in Rosneft, Bashneft, VTB, Alrosa and Sovcomflot in January.

The deal on a state stake in Alrosa was already held, sale of 19.5% in Rosneft is next. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev postponed privatization of oil producer Bashneft, Press Secretary of the Prime Minister Natalia Timakova told TASS earlier on Tuesday, confirming information reported earlier by RBC. State-owned stake in the company is planned for sale after the share in Rosneft.

First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said that Sovcomflot privatization deal is likely to happen in late 2016 - early 2017.

"We are to carry out further consultations with our investment banks that provide services to the government. There are pros and cons. I hope that we will be able to present Sovcomflot to the market before the end of the year or in the beginning of 2017," he said.