* Rosneft's shares sharply down
* Company says to stick to dividend, strategy
* Says sufficient liquidity to service debts
(Adds detail, quotes, share price)
MOSCOW, July 18 Top Russian oil producer Rosneft
said it would continue to work on existing projects
and agreements and honour its obligations despite U.S. sanctions
slapped on the company over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis.
The United States earlier this week imposed new sanctions on
Russian companies including Rosneft. Its shares fell by over 4
percent on Thursday and were down a further 1.5 percent by
midday on Friday.
"Rosneft is a public company traded on Russian and
international exchanges. Therefore, the sanctions inflict damage
upon the company shareholders, including U.S. citizens and
residents," the company said in a statement on Friday.
It has a number of joint projects with international majors,
including Exxon Mobil and Statoil, to tap
Arctic offshore riches and hard-to-recover oil in Russia.
Rosneft, in which BP holds a 19.75 percent stake,
also said it has sufficient liquidity to service its debts and
that its financial position allows it to deliver on the key
indicators of its strategy and dividend policy.
"The company is currently in the process of a legal review
of the announced sanctions and is consulting its international
partners," Rosneft said.
Analysts have been concerned about Rosneft's ability to
attract funds as costs of borrowing have risen for Russian
companies after Moscow annexed the Crimean peninsula from
Ukraine in March.
The Kremlin-controlled company, headed by Igor Sechin, a
long-standing ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, said the
sanctions were "illegitimate and groundless" as it has "no
influence on either political or economic processes ongoing in
Rosneft also is in the process of acquiring Morgan Stanley's
oil trading division. Morgan Stanley said it did not
believe new U.S. sanctions on Rosneft would affect the pending
deal between the two companies.
(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; editing by Jane Baird)