SOCHI, September 19 (RIA Novosti) – The Western sanctions imposed against the Russian oil industry have had no impact on the current decline in global oil prices, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told journalists Friday.
"No [they've had no effect]. As of now, definitely not," Novak said.
According to the minister, the decline in prices is linked to the fall adjustment of the supply and demand balance and the economic slowdown in the Eurozone and in China, as compared to the target growth rates.
Last week, the European Union and the United States introduced new sanctions against Russia that target a number of key Russian banks as well as oil and defense companies and ban the provision of technical and other assistance to Russian oil companies.
In view of Western sanctions, Russia has started shifting its energy supplies to the Asia-Pacific region.
On September 3, Novak said Russia could double its oil and gas sales to Asia-Pacific countries in the coming years.
Russian oil supplies to the region currently stand at about 50 million metric tons, while gas supplies amount to around 14 billion cubic meters. According to Novak, the oil supplies could double and the gas supplies could reach 200-300 billion cubic meters.