Putin: oil and gas industry is important for Russia

MOSCOW, October 13. The Russian leadership understands how the oil and gas industry is important for the economy of the country, and is not going to suppress something that works effectively. This was stated by the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin at the investment forum VTB “Russia calling!”.

“I want to assure you that we understand and realize how important oil and gas sector for Russia, for the Russian economy and striving to its diversification, structural change, we are not going to do that by suppressing the sector of the industry that works effectively,” he said.

During a panel session at the opening forum the Minister of Finance of the Russian Federation Anton Siluanov disagreed with the opinion of the head of the Ministry of economic development Alexei Ulyukayev about the need to support the oil and gas industry at the expense of public funds. According to Siluanov, almost all the funds that the state has to support the economy, and so are concentrated in the oil and gas industry. He believes that it is better to direct this money to support such industries as refining, industry, etc.

At the forum the President commented on the statements of the Minister of Finance and said that at the national level need to support promising projects and the oil industry.

“This does not mean that we at the national level does not need to support promising projects and should not support the oil industry as an industry. We, despite the position of some of our financial authorities, think about it, – said Putin. – They want to nip off from you, for certain disputes have already been here today. It’s not that we want “imbedded” investment in this sector of the economy, but, apparently, Anton Germanovich (Siluanov) explained that the Finance Ministry wants to withdraw the profits from the fluctuations of the national currency”.

The head of state added that, according to experts and market participants, the amount of such seizures was initially estimated at 600 billion rubles, but in the end, the Ministry of Finance agreed that this figure should be significantly more modest – about 200 billion rubles.

The President noted that the decline in energy prices and reduction of demand will inevitably lead to reduced investment in the oil and gas sector currently is happening in the Russian and global economies.

“Companies need to see prospects of development of the market and, if the planning horizon is reduced, and decreases the level of investment. This leads to the fact that promising deposits on time are not displayed, there is a shortage and energy prices begin to rise. Sure, unfortunately, so it will be this time in the world economy in whole”, – concluded Putin.