No quick fix on sanctions, Russia says

The Kremlin said there are no 'ready-made' solutions to support companies like energy giant Gazprom

By Daniel J. Graeber

April 19 (UPI) -- There are no quick remedies to help support companies like Gazprom that are the target of U.S. sanctions, a Russian presidential spokesman said.

The U.S. Treasury Department in early April extended sanctions to people associated with Russian energy company Gazprom. The action was in response to the alleged use of a nerve agent against former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yuli


Russia's economy depends heavily on the oil and natural gas sector. It's the world's largest oil producer and the main natural gas supplier to the European market.

Dmitry Peskov, the spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, said Thursday there were no easy remedies to support sanction targets.

"As far as I know, so far there are not any ready-made scenarios, formulas of providing support yet, which is quite explicable," he was quoted by Russian news agency Tass as saying.

Gazprom outlined total capital investments for the year at $13.6 billion, with a little more than half of that going toward long-term financial investments.

This week, Russian exploration and production company Zarubezhneft established a framework to work at oil fields in western Iran, another target of U.S. sanctions.


On Wednesday, Gazprom Chairman Alexei Miller met in Riyadh with Saudi Oil Minister Khalid al-Falih. An addendum to an existing memorandum of understanding with Saudi Arabian Oil Co. was "aimed at widening the possible areas of cooperation between the companies," a statement from Gazprom read.

Russia is working with members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in an effort to restore balance to a market that was titled heavily toward the supply side. Now in its second year, the arrangement is in part behind a steady rally in crude oil prices.

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