Cameron raises BP's troubles with Medvedev: Kremlin
British Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday raised energy giant BP's recent troubles in Russia during his talks with President Dmitry Medvedev, a top Kremlin official said.
Kremlin political adviser Sergei Prikhodko said in answer to a question from a reporter that Cameron "raised the issue of the BP company's interest in continuing its active operations in Russia."
The British energy giant struck a massive Arctic oil exploration agreement with the state oil giant Rosneft that collapsed in May amid infighting between the British firm and the local partners in its Russian joint venture.
The deal has since been awarded to the US supergiant ExxonMobil while BP had its offices raided by bailiffs as part of a $3-billion court case by shareholders in its Russian holding.
The Russian venture TNK-BP claims it had first rights to the Rosneft deal and the suit threatens the future of a venture that provides BP with about a quarter of its annual production and 10 percent of its profits.
Cameron included BP chief Bob Dudley in his delegation but did not mention the company's problems during a speech he made at Moscow State University or during the public sections of his meetings with Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
It was not clear from the Kremlin aide's comments what sort of support for BP Cameron had sought.
But Prikhodko said that Medvedev told Cameron he had no right to intervene in in BP's conflict with its Russian partners over the failed Rosneft tie-up.
"Obviously, the executive branch cannot interfere in this process," Prikhodko said of the looming court case.
The damages claim has been scheduled for a September 21 hearing in the Ural Mountains district of Tyumen.
"As far as we understand, the British side does not intend to politicise this issue," Prikhodko said. "This is very important."
© 2011 AFP