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Putin opposes Gazprom-Rosneft merger

President Vladimir Putin has opposed the plans to create an oil and gas monster by merging Rosneft into Gazprom. Putin made clear his views on September 14, 2007, when meeting members of Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi.

Asked about the rumored plans to merge two biggest companies of Russia’s fuel and energy sector, Putin said: “I know nothing about the rumors related to the merger of our two companies with government’s share and I don’t think we should create a monster that will dominate all economy of Russia and that, as a vacuum cleaner, will be pumping out all resources, including the bank ones.”

“If anyone is apprehensive about the growth in capitalization of Russia’s companies and in their influence on global economy, I must say that apprehension is quite justified. This influence will be going up, but not for account of Russia’s companies’ merger but rather on their capitalization in the natural way, for account of increase in their market value by results of their business, on production expansion and development of overseas markets, on optimization of spending and revenues.”

From time to time, however, Putin went on, the questions arise about efficiency of companies’ work and to what extent the prices and budgets of projects are justified. “Let’s say Transneft is constructing a pipeline. I have a question whether the pipe to the Pacific Ocean is too expensive. But I made them go bypassing the Lake of Baikal, it is 400 kilometers of the water intake area. It is in taiga that is difficult of access, in the mountain conditions, there is even no technology for laying a pipe in such regions. It will make the project more expensive, of course,” Putin explained. (kommersant.com)