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Putin helped save his oil giant. Now Rosneft returns the favour

Firm is helping fill a yawning budget gap at home and support the Kremlin abroad

Rosneft's turnaround is a triumph for Mr Putin, who vowed to protect the pillars of his state-dominated system from US and EU pressure when they were slapped with sanctions two years ago.

Mr Sechin in June said he thought Rosneft could be worth as much as US$130 billion, twice its current value and more than BP.


TWO years ago, the Kremlin's oil flagship was foundering, hit by falling prices and international sanctions just as it faced US$20 billion in debt payments.

Short of cash, Rosneft got about US$15 billion of emergency aid with help from the central bank. But the deal spooked...