Russia and China forming closer ties: Total CFO

Russia and China forming closer ties: Total CFO
Russia and China forming closer ties: Total CFO   

U.S. and European Union sanctions against Russia are having the unintended consequence of helping the nation form closer bonds with China, according to Patrick de la Chevardière, the chief financial officer of oil major Total.

Since the annexation of Crimea back in March, and Moscow's alleged backing of pro-Russian rebels in the east of Ukraine, the West has moved to stifle lending to the country with a series of penalties. These sanctions have changed the global landscape for the energy sector, Chevardière said.

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"Russia and China are close together… As far as what I can see today, this is the result of what is currently happening," he told CNBC on Tuesday.

"It's already changed the Russian position towards China; they are opening the door to China in their industry. They are selling gas and oil to China which was not the case three years ago."

Mark Renders | Getty Images

While this is not an immediate concern for Total, which owns a Russian subsidiary, it could hit Europe, which continues to rely on Russia for oil and gas despite growing tensions between the two regions.

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The sanctions have affected the oil major, making it difficult for the company to invest in Russia because of the rules regarding financing in U.S. dollars. Chevardière said this was not "peanuts" and had hit an important part of the business. It is currently trying to raise financing streams for future projects in the region, he added.

This week, the French company announced plans to sell off more assets and overhaul exploration after it cut its 2017 oil output target to 2.8 million barrels of oil per day, from a previous 3 million per day.