Russia’s Sechin says Taiwan will return to China ‘on schedule’

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BAKU, Oct 27 (Reuters) – One of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s closest allies, oil chief Igor Sechin, on Thursday heaped praise on China’s leadership, quipping that Taiwan would return to its “native harbour” on time.

Sechin, the head of Russia’s largest oil producer Rosneft, also said that Saudi Arabia’s position on the global oil market was “reasonable” and based on analysis of oil supply and demand.

Russia has moved to forge closer ties with Asia, especially energy-hungry China, to offset Western sanctions on Moscow over Ukraine.

Speaking at an international economic forum in Baku, previously held in Italy’s Verona, Sechin said that decisions taken by the Chinese Communist Party’s recent congress will provide a new level of development for the country.

“The position of (China’s) leadership is highly respected, which calmly and openly, without false premises, sets out its positions, even on the most difficult issues, such as the problem of Taiwan, which in this regard can be assessed as somewhat exaggerated,” Sechin said.

Sechin said U.S. attempts to create its own complex microchip industry showed that “Taiwan’s return to its native harbour” was “on schedule”.

He also said that Rosneft has transferred $700 million in second-half 2021 dividends into special accounts for BP BP.L, which, he said, remained Rosneft’s “shadow” shareholder despite a decision to leave the company following the start of what Moscow calls a “special military operation” in Ukraine.

BP has not immediately replied to a request for comment.

(Reporting by Nailia Bagirova and Olesya Astakhova; writing by Vladimir Soldatkin; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Russian ‘Rosneft’ Board Chairman Igor Sechin (L) visit the Konevsky Monastery on Konevets Island on Ladoga Lake in Leningrad region. EPA-EFE/ALEXEI NIKOLSKY/SPUTNIK/KREMLIN POOL / POOL

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