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Surgutneftegas to keep MOL stake, says Russian energy czar

Russian oil and gas company Surgutneftegas has no intention of parting with its stake in Hungarian peer MOL, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin said in an interview published on the website of Russian business daily Vedomosti.

“According to the information available to me, Surgutneftegas has no intention of parting with its share packet in MOL, and it sees it as one of its best acquisitions,” said Sechin, who is in charge of Russia's vast energy industry.

“The project is economically practical, and the Russian company's participation in it is established. The goal is energy security, a trans-European synergy,” he told the paper, while noting “subjective obstructions” to the project's projects.

Surgutneftegas acquired a 21.1% stake in MOL from Austrian peer OMV for €1.4 billion in March 2009. MOL's management called the deal unfriendly and Hungary's president expressed concern about the transaction.

The stake has since been the subject of talks between the governments of Hungary and Russia.