Support The Moscow Times!

Russian Energy Firms Protest to Putin Over Equipment Law — Report

Russia's leading oil and gas companies have sent a letter to President Vladimir Putin protesting against a proposed law that aims to increase use of domestic equipment to offset the impact of Western sanctions, the Kommersant daily said Wednesday.

The bill highlights the state's desire to tighten its control over the oil and gas industry, which generates half of budget revenues, as weaker global oil prices and the sanctions push Russia's economy towards recession.

The newspaper, citing the letter, said the companies were worried about increased state surveillance of their equipment orders as Russia tries to reduce its reliance on foreign production amid its stand-off with the West over Ukraine.

Kommersant said Rosneft, LUKoil, Gazprom Neft, Novatek and Zarubezhneft were among the letter's signatories. They complained that the proposed law would limit their ability to plan, the paper said.

The bill, which has been approved by Russia's lower house of parliament in the first reading, would authorize the government to set up a special council to approve purchasing plans.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a conference call he was not aware of the letter. The companies mentioned in the Kommersant report declined any immediate comment.

Putin has repeatedly called for "import substitution" after the Western sanctions — imposed over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis — limited access to global financial markets for Russian firms.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

As we approach the holiday season, please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world’s largest country.