Gorshenin Institute vice-president Viktor Sokolov believes that by announcing the sale of state stocks, Russia seeks to create an additional motivation for the Western countries to lift sanctions, he said in a comment for LB.ua.
In his opinion, Russia pursues several goals by putting state stocks in large companies up for sale.
"The first goal is obvious. It is trying to patch holes in the state budget which appeared as a result of ill-considered economic policy, dropping oil prices and sanctions. The second one is veiled. The Russian authorities said they were looking forward to receiving over 1,000bn roubles, or around 12-13bn dollars, from privatization. Only Western business people have free money for taking part in such a large-scale privatization. However the Western capital cannot take part in the privatization unless there is a political settlement, including the lifting of sanctions from Russia," Sokolov said.
"Let me note that Putin made a special point that the owners of the assets on sale must be within the Russian jurisdiction," he added.
He expects the mentions of China and India as potential customers to invigorate the interest of Western investors in bidding for depreciated assets and prompt them to step up pressure on their governments.
"We can suggest this, seeing an increased pressure on Ukraine to make it implement the Minsk agreements unilaterally," Sokolov said.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel earlier announced an intention to prolong the sanctions against Russia because the Minsk agreements had not been fully implemented.