Russian pipeline monopoly says will weather well U.S. sanctions

Nikolai Tokarev, chief executive of Russian oil pipeline monopoly Transneft, attends a session of the Energy Ministry's board in Moscow, Russia, April 8, 2016. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

NIZHNEBUREISKY, Russia (Reuters) - New U.S. sanctions imposed on Russia will do no harm to Russia’s pipeline monopoly Transneft, Transneft CEO Nikolai Tokarev said on Thursday, echoing a similar optimistic statement by the head of Russia’s largest oil firm Rosneft.

U.S. President Donald Trump grudgingly signed into law new sanctions against Russia on Wednesday, a move Moscow said amounted to a full-scale trade war and an end to hopes for better ties with the Trump administration.

“This will not affect us in any way. We have already considered and studied all this,” Tokarev told reporters, commenting on the U.S. sanctions law. “I believe these sanctions will not acquire a painful and sensitive form to hurt us.”

About 94 percent of the equipment used by Transneft is produced in Russia, while some electronic equipment that the company need it buys in the Asia Pacific region, Tokarev said.

“Furthermore, we do not attract external financing, we take no loans, we have enough of our own funds.”

Igor Sechin, chief executive officer of Russia’s largest oil producer Rosneft, also played down on Thursday the impact of the U.S. sanctions, saying they would rather have negative consequences for the United States and backfire on U.S. energy majors.

Reporting by Polina Nikolskaya; Writing by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Maria Kiselyova