The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) intends to support an application by Rosneft for clearance to buy gas producer Itera, FAS chief Igor Artemiyev told reporters on the sidelines of the ninth national business forum on competition in Moscow, Interfax reported.
"I'm sure we'll back the application," Artemiyev said. "Rosneft is creating an alternative to Gazprom, and that is wonderful," he said, adding it was very good that rivals to Gazprom were emerging.
Artemiyev said he did not know anything about Rosneft's possible acquisition of oil producer Bashneft.
"I think Rosneft is busy with the TNK-BP takeover," he said, "Various people are giving birth to fantasies. I wouldn't treat [Rosneft buying Bashneft] as anything other than a fantasy," he said.