Rosneft chief Igor Sechin. Image courtesy of Rosneft.

With no end in sight for the Western sanctions against Russia, state-owned Rosneft is asking the Kremlin for relief funds as its coffers are strained by EU and U.S. loan restrictions and falling oil prices.

Rosneft, Russia’s largest state-owned driller, is asking for $49 billion from the country’s National Wealth Fund, the International Business Times said.

The company had initially asked for $42 billion in August.

The National Wealth fund is one of two Russian funds used to manage oil revenues and is primarily used to finance Russia’s pension system.

The fund currently holds about $83 billion.

The finance ministry has not disclosed whether the request has been approved.

EU and U.S. sanctions currently bar Rosneft from receiving loans with maturity dates longer than 90 days.

“Rosneft has asked the government for financial assistance in light of sanctions against Russia’s energy sector,” Russia’s finance minister Anton Siluanov said.

Rosneft would use the funds to service $55 billion in debt.

Last week, Rosneft issued a $28 million tender to enlist the services of UK lawyers as it reportedly considers fighting the sanctions in court.

In May, prior to the sanctions being imposed, Rosneft chief Igor Sechin told the government that the oil and gas industry would need help from the state to lower its dependence on foreign capital and technology.


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