MOSCOW, January 22 (Sputnik) – Russia’s gas giant Gazprom has signed for a loan of 350 million euros ($405 million) with Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo Group, Gazprom said in a press release Thursday.
“Gazprom’s cooperation with one of the largest banking groups in the euro zone has great significance for the development of partnership relations with the credit organizations of Italy and all of Europe,” the press release reads.
In early December, Gazprom announced the signing of a bilateral credit agreement with Italy’s UniCredit Bank worth a total of 390 million euros ($450 million).
In recent months, access by Russian companies to foreign capital markets has been restricted by Western sanctions imposed on Moscow over its alleged meddling in Ukrainian affairs – a claim Russia has repeatedly denied. The sanctions, targeting the energy, defense and banking sectors led major Russian businesses to consider funding opportunities in Asia.
Gazprom, however, was not targeted by the European Union, even though the EU barred the company’s oil subsidiary, Gazprom Neft, from seeking finance on European capital markets.