Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, says the Russian Federation will continue to privatize state-owned assets and the timing will depend on the markets, not sanctions applied against Russia by the West.
“Privatization will take its course. It is not connected with the sanctions, it depends on market conditions: we will have to sell what is profitable to sell,” Medvedev said, reports Russian state news agency TASS.
The Prime Minister said that privatization as such is not the purpose for the government.
“Privatization is a tool, it is not some special goal that we pursue. It is a tool to replenish the budget, as it was done in the case of the sale of shares of Rosneft and Alrosa, or to find a more effective owner, when we believe that the participation of a private investor will bring the best results.”
Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said at the end of 2016 that Russia may continue to sell assets to the private sector such as additional shares in Rosneft, VTB, and Sovcomflot.
The continued sale of state-owned companies seems to be a method Russia can use to plug holes in the federal budget as the price of crude oil on international markets languishes in the $50 range. Western sanctions are also harming the Russian economy.