SHCHETINKA, Russia (Reuters) - Russia's government should do its best to privatize a stake in the nation's largest oil producer Rosneft <ROSN.MM> this year, Russian Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said on Monday.
"Taking into account the attractiveness of this asset and keeping in mind that this would allow us to resolve to a large extent the problem of the budget deficit, I believe a sale of part of Rosneft will be a priority project now," Ulyukayev told journalists on a visit to the Kursk Region in central Russia.
"We should do our best to do it in 2016."
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He also said that it was technically possible to privatize mid-sized oil company Bashneft <BANE.MM> at the end of 2016 or in 2017, if there was "a political decision".
(Reporting by Darya Korsunskaya; writing by Dmitry Solovyov; editing by Polina Devitt)