Chemical Engineering degree + national roots. Job prospects?

Hello Expat community. First of all I would just like to say that I would not consider myself an aspiring expat, as I want to completely move and settle in Russia as well as establish permanent citizenship.

I was born in Eastern Ukraine and speak Russian at home with my family, and I consider myself Russian, with a personal understanding of the culture and people. I am currently a second-year Chemical Engineering student at university and am interested in pursuing work in the Oil/Gas sector in Russia.

My question is: how viable is it to pursue this career path in Russia while being able to pay off the notorious debts of US college education?
I've heard that companies tend to pay "foreign" nationals higher than local engineers.

Also would I be better off working for a western company such as Exxon-mobil that has happens to have operations in Russia, or directly for a Russian company such as Gazprom (kind of leaning towards this just out of personal preference)

Is it possible to receive a US salary or close to US salary while working and living permanently in the Russian Federation?


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