WORLD

Russian state oil companies rail against new US sanctions law

RUSSIAN STATE OIL COMPANIES RAIL AGAINST NEW US SANCTIONS LAW

Russian state oil companies Rosneft and Transneft railed against a new US sanctions law on Thursday, vowing to find ways to circumvent it.

"In principle we will not be affected," pipeline company Transneft's CEO, Nikolai Tokarev, said in comments carried by state news agency RIA Novosti.

Nearly all the equipment that Transneft uses - 94 per cent - is Russian, Tokarev said.

The law signed by US President Donald Trump on Wednesday foresees sanctions against investment in Russian state companies and the development of Russian pipelines.

The legislation, overwhelmingly approved by the US Congress, sets out a package of measures "to counter aggression by the governments of Iran, the Russian Federation and North Korea," according to the White House website.

The law has been designed to strengthen previous sanctions imposed against Russia since it annexed neighbouring Ukraine's Crimea region three years ago.

Russia's largest oil company, Rosneft, will find ways to minimize the effect of the new sanctions, CEO Igor Sechin said, adding that the current sanctions have actually harmed the US economy.

"It's a pity that Exxon has suffered," Sechin said in comments carried by RIA Novosti, referring to the US oil company that was recently fined 2 million dollars for alleged dealings with Rosneft.

The current US secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, was ExxonMobil's CEO at the time of the alleged infringement.

"The sanctions have begun working against those who impose them," Sechin said.

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