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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Minister: State Oil Giant Is a Bad Idea

The planned creation of a Russian national oil company through a merger of three oil giants will cause more harm than good, a top government minister said over the weekend.

The previous government announced plans earlier this year to form an oil company that would own some of the world's largest reserves of prospected oil. State-owned oil company Rosneft, state-controlled Onako and the Russian-Belarussian joint venture Slavneft would form its core.

"The proposed merger ? will bring more trouble than benefit," First Deputy Prime Minister Nikolai Aksyonenko was quoted by Itar-Tass as saying.

Aksyonenko did not indicate that the merger would be abandoned, but said work on establishing a national oil company had dropped to a low priority for the government.

Aksyonenko returned to Moscow from the Belarussian capital of Minsk, where he met with officials from Slavneft. They had apparently expressed concern about their f and Belarus' f role in the new company, Itar-Tass said.