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BP Says Will Pull its Capital from Russia's Rosneft

Feb. 28, 2022
Bernard Looney, CEO of BP, also announced his immediate resignation from the Russian oil company's board.

British energy giant BP announced Sunday that it was pulling its 19.75% stake in Rosneft following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

BP's chief executive Bernard Looney also announced that he was resigning from the Russian oil company's board "with immediate effect".

Looney was one of two BP-nominated directors, having held the position since 2020. The other is former BP CEO Bob Dudley, who has also resigned, said BP.

"Russia's attack on Ukraine is an act of aggression which is having tragic consequences across the region," said the company's chairman, Helge Lund.

"BP has operated in Russia for over 30 years, working with brilliant Russian colleagues," he added.

"However, this military action represents a fundamental change."

The announcement came as the European Union applied fresh sanctions against Russia, closing its airspace, banning its state media outlets and restricting its access to the international finance network.

Kwasi Kwarteng, Britain's business minister, welcomed the announcement.

"Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine must be a wake up call for British businesses with commercial interests in Putin's Russia," he tweeted.

"The decision to exit the Rosneft stake will be an eye wateringly expensive one for BP," wrote Susannah Streeter, a senior analyst with Hargreaves Lansdown.

"But the shocked board clearly felt they had no option but to pay the high price and distance the business from Russia’s aggression."

Just two weeks ago, Looney had said that BP’s share in Rosneft remained a core part of its operation, she noted.

The decision "shows the extent to which corporate Britain is now under pressure to make very stark choices faced with the sharply escalating situation," Streeter added.

Copyright 2022, Agence France-Presse

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