Potential buyers of Rosneft and Bashneft shares are already in talks with the Russian government, First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said Monday.

“There are two deals we’re first of all concerned about – Rosneft and Bashneft. As you know the Rosneft deal is very advantageous to us if it happens as it means funds will be raised via Rosneftegaz, since those are budget revenues. As far as Bashneft is concerned potential bidders are already in talks with the government,” Shuvalov said.

In January, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the decision to sell stakes in state-owned companies Rosneft, Bashneft, VTB, Alrosa, Sovcomflot in 2016.

The Russian government expects to raise approximately 500-550 bln rubles from the privatization of a 19.5% stake in Rosneft.

Rosneftegaz controls Russian state assets in the oil and gas sector. It owns more than 69.5% of shares in Rosneft. British BP owns 19.75% of shares in Rosneft.

As was reported earlier China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) is interested in Rosneft privatization and has set up a working group to study potential buying into it.

The Russian government is considering three options for privatization of Bashneft – the sale of a 25% stake, of a 50% package and, together with a stake of Russia’s republic of Bashkiria – 75%.

Bashneft operates in more than 20 regions of Russia and abroad. The Federal Property Management Agency owns 50.08% of its share capital, the republic of Bashkortostan holds 25% plus one share in the company.