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Kremlin does not believe BP’s walkout from TNK-BP is bad sign

June 02, 2012, 5:11 UTC+3

The Kremlin does not believe that the BP company’s decision to leave the joint project with the TNK

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PARIS, June 2 (Itar-Tass) —— The Kremlin does not believe that the BP company’s decision to leave the joint project with the TNK, if it does take place, will sound a bad signal to foreign investors.

“By no means,” presidential press-secretary Dmitry Peskov said, when asked if the BP’s decision will be an indication of foreign investors’ distrust towards the Russian market. Peskov said Putin was aware of that decision by shareholders.

“The wise investors will take a look at how much money the BP earned while being a party to that joint venture. Take the dividends it received last year alone,” Peskov said. “That will be the best statistical argument in favor of the attractiveness of investments in the Russian economy.”

Peskov preferred to keep quiet about what company – Russian or foreign – might purchase the BP’s stake.

“This is a purely corporative issue,” he said, adding that it was a question to be decided on an open market.

Early last week an old-time smoldering conflict among TNK-BP shareholders flared up. The TNK-BP’s CEO and a shareholder, Mikhail Fridman left his post. Russian shareholders said the party ownership pattern had long outlived itself, because it left no chance for shareholders with conflicting views to run the company effectively.

On June 1 the BP officially notified its partners of a likely sale of its stake in the TNK-BP group.

The TNK-BP has assets in Western and Eastern Siberia, in the Volga-Urals Region and also refineries in Russia and Ukraine. The company is a party to projects in Vietnam and Venezuela.

On parity terms with Gazpromneft the TNK-BP runs Slavneft, whose business it has been unable to divide for nearly ten years.

Last year the TNK-BP produced 84 million tonnes of oil.

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