Some western companies have started to cut ties with Russia following its attack on its neighbouring Ukraine.
A few hours ago, British energy giant BP announced that it had sold its 19.75% stake in Rosneft, a Russian-based energy company.
The exit comes following Russia’s attack on Ukraine, which began a few days ago. BP has been a major shareholder of Rosneft since 2013 but is now exiting its position in the Russian company. BP said;
“The bp board today announced that bp will exit its shareholding in Rosneft. BP has held a 19.75% shareholding in Rosneft since 2013. Additionally, bp chief executive officer Bernard Looney is resigning from the board of Rosneft with immediate effect. The other Rosneft director nominated by bp, former bp group chief executive Bob Dudley, is similarly resigning from the board.”
BP and its executives have condemned the attack on Ukraine, stating that it is a violation of human rights. BP chair Helge Lund said:
“Russia’s attack on Ukraine is an act of aggression which is having tragic consequences across the region. BP has operated in Russia for over 30 years, working with brilliant Russian colleagues. However, this military action represents a fundamental change. It has led the BP board to conclude, after a thorough process, that our involvement with Rosneft, a state-owned enterprise, simply cannot continue.”
BP’s exit from Rosneft came after it faced intense pressure from the UK government to cut off ties with the Russian-state energy-controlled company. According to The Wall Street Journal, British officials accused Rosneft of fueling the Kremlin’s advance into Ukraine.
UK’s business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng was delighted after BP announced its exit from Rosneft. Kwarteng said;
“Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine must be a wake-up call for British businesses with commercial interests in Putin’s Russia.”
BP’s business could take a hit following its exit from Rosneft as the Russian company contributed about a third of BP’s oil-and-gas production.