April 6, 2018 / 8:36 AM / 18 days ago

Russia does not expect fallout for its energy sector from ex-spy poisoning

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said he does not expect negative consequences for the domestic energy sector from the poisoning of ex-double agent Sergei Skripal in England.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak arrives for a meeting with OPEC oil ministers at OPEC's headquarters in Vienna, Austria, November 29, 2017. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader

“For today, any actions against the fuel-energy complex have not been taken, and I hope they won’t be taken... from the Skripal case,” he told a briefing.

He said though that Russia will respond if any measures against it are taken. Moscow has denied being behind the attack on Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in the southern English city of Salisbury on March 4.

Novak also said that Russian oil and gas producers have adjusted to a new reality after the West started imposing sanctions in 2014 over Moscow’s role in the Ukraine crisis and the Kremlin’s annexation of Crimea.

“From the point of view of financing, the adjustments (by the companies) have showed that one can live and develop in this environment,” Novak told reporters.

He said total investments in the Russian oil sector stood at 986 billion rubles ($16.2 billion) in 2014, while they rose to 1.3 trillion rubles in 2017.

Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin, Olesya Astakhova and Anastasia Lyrchikova; Editing by Katya Golubkova

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