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Home News BP pledges to stay in Russia amid Ukraine crisis

BP pledges to stay in Russia amid Ukraine crisis

Published on 10/04/2014

British energy giant BP vowed Thursday to remain in oil-rich Russia despite the Ukraine crisis, adding it would play a key "bridge" role between the West and Moscow.

“Clearly the situation in Ukraine is currently the focus of world attention,” said chief executive Bob Dudley at BP’s annual general meeting in London.

“We will seek to pursue our business activities, mindful that the mutual dependence between Russia, as an energy supplier, and Europe, as an energy consumer has been an important source of security and engagement for both parties for many decades.

“I think we play an important role and a bridge,” added Dudley.

The group is the biggest foreign investor in Russia’s oil sector and will continue to seek ways of developing its business there, despite simmering international tensions over Ukraine.

Pro-Russian militants have occupied government buildings in the east of Ukraine, in an echo of what happened in Crimea before the peninsula was annexed by Moscow last month.

“It is a troublesome situation and we’re following it very very closely,” said BP chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg at Thursday’s AGM.

“For Russia we feel they are very keen on keeping all the relationships, the business relationships,” added Svanberg.

BP expanded its Rosneft holding to 19.75 percent in 2012 as part of a deal in which the Russian state firm acquired the Anglo-Russian joint venture TNK-BP.

The London-listed energy major is now Rosneft’s largest shareholder, after the Russian government.