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White House: U.S. To Examine $11 Billion Rosneft Deal For Sanctions 'Impact'

  • RFE/RL

An employee of the Russian oil company Rosneft enters the company's headquarters in Moscow on December 8.

WASHINGTON -- The White House says U.S. authorities will examine the around $11 billion privatization of a stake in Russian state oil giant Rosneft to determine how U.S. sanctions may impact the deal.

The deal announced this week would give a 19.5 percent stake in Rosneft to a consortium of Swiss commodities giant Glencore and the Qatari sovereign wealth fund.

Washington hit Rosneft with sanctions in response to Russia's annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea Peninsula in 2014 and its backing of armed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

The sanctions place restrictions on long-term lending and the transfer of some U.S. drilling and exploration technology to Rosneft but do not bar trading in its equity.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters in Washington on December 8 that experts from the U.S. Treasury Department who are "responsible for constructing and enforcing the sanctions regime [against Russia] will carefully look at a transaction like this."

"They'll look at the terms of the deal and evaluate what impact sanctions would have on it," Earnest said.

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