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Russia working to counter sanctions

Russian economic adviser weighing bank countermeasures.
By Daniel J. Graeber   |   July 22, 2014 at 9:45 AM  |  Updated July 23, 2014 at 7:00 AM   |   Comments

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MOSCOW, July 22 (UPI) -- An adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin said the government was taking steps to counter the latest round of U.S. sanctions on Russian energy entities.

Economic aide Andrei Belousov said all of the obligations of state development bank Vnesheconombank will be met and the Central Bank of Russia may sell some of its foreign currencies to blacklisted companies in an effort to offset the latest round of U.S. sanctions.

"[Banking assistance] will be either additional capitalization, or some other option, we are working on that," he said Monday.

Russian energy company Gazprom made similar statements earlier this week. Its financial arm, Gazprombank, oil company Rosneft and Russian independent gas producer Novatek were included on the list of sanctioned entities by the U.S. government last week.

The Russian economy relies heavily on oil and natural gas revenue. Last week, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said the Kremlin was taking a "placid" posture over the latest round of sanctions.

British energy company BP said it was examining its stake in Rosneft in light of new sanctions. It owns a minority stake in the company. French energy giant Total last week said it was "closely monitoring the situation" in Russia and its ties to Novatek.

U.S. sanctions were imposed in response to Russia's stance on the crisis in Ukraine.

Follow @dan_graeber and @UPI on Twitter.
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