Igor Sechin, head of Rosneft and a close associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has been told by the government that it will consider his request over the coming fortnight. The state-controlled energy giant, which is almost 20 per cent owned by BP, is barred from receiving any credit with a maturity of more than 90 days from US or European banks. However Rosneft suggested that the Kremlin could use money from the National Wealth Fund, a fund earmarked to fund Russian state pensions. The money would be used to purchase Rosneft bonds.
As reported by the Russian newspaper Vedomosti, Sechin indicated that the money was needed to counteract the effect of sanctions as Western nations seek to reduce their dependence on Russian energy and take long term steps to reassess their level of self-reliance. The paper quoted a letter from Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who may be more reluctant than Putin to endorse the loan request, in which he asked officials to analyse the data.