Updated 6:14 p.m. Moscow Time
MOSCOW, October 22 (RIA Novosti) - State-run oil giant Rosneft has asked for over 2 trillion rubles ($49 billion) from Russia's National Wealth Fund to help the company withstand Western sanctions against Russia, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said Wednesday.
"Rosneft has asked the government for financial assistance in light of sanctions against Russia's energy sector," Siluanov told reporters in Moscow.
"The requested amount exceeds 2 trillion rubles," Siluanov said.
Rosneft said it may have difficulties in servicing its $55-billion debt and getting the imported equipment needed to develop new fields and upgrade refineries as its access to Western financing and technology had been severely curtailed by the latest round of Western sanctions.
Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that Rosneft is working on a legal strategy to overturn Western sanctions in European courts.
Rosneft is an oil company whose activities include hydrocarbon exploration and production, upstream offshore projects, hydrocarbon refining, and crude oil, gas and product marketing in Russia and abroad. Rosneft's main shareholder, with 69.5 percent, is state-owned company Rosneftegaz.
The latest round of Western sanctions imposed against Moscow over its alleged involvement in the Ukrainian crisis target the banking, oil and defense sectors and ban the provision of technical and other assistance to Russian companies for oil exploration and production.