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BP examines situation with new US sanctions against Rosneft

British oil and gas company BP, which owns 19.75% of Rosneft shares, is examining the situation with new sanctions imposed by the United States on Russia's top oil producer, BP's spokesperson in Russia, Vladimir Buyanov, said.

"We are currently studying the situation with new sanctions the United States has imposed on Russia," Buyanov told ITAR-TASS on Thursday.

The US presidential administration announced a significant expansion of sanctions against Russia on Wednesday night, with measures targeting some of the country's largest energy corporations and banks as punishment for Moscow's alleged continued support for Ukrainian separatists.

"Along with our allies, with whom I've been coordinating closely over the last several days and weeks, I've repeatedly made it clear that Russia must halt the flow of weapons and fighters across the border into Ukraine, that Russia must urge separatists to release hostages, and support a ceasefire, that Russia needs to pursue internationally mediated talks and agree to meaningful monitors on the border," US President Barack Obama said in a televised statement from the White House.

The targets of the US sanctions include two major Russian energy companies: Novatek, the country's largest independent natural gas producer, and Rosneft, Russia's major petroleum company and third largest gas producer. The penalties bar both from getting long-term loans from US-based entities.

Leading Russian financial institutions have also come under sanctions: Russian development bank VEB and Gazprombank, banking arm of Russia's state energy behemoth Gazprom. The sanctions ban them from access to US capital markets.

The new US sanctions package also includes restrictions on several officials, in particular, Russian State Duma Deputy Speaker Sergei Neverov, Minister for Crimean Affairs Oleg Savelyev, and Russian presidential aide Igor Shchegolev.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 17Jul14]

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