TNK-BP's operations safe in Russia - Kremlin economist

Other News Materials 28 July 2008 17:02 (UTC +04:00)

TNK-BP's operations in Russia are not at risk over the ongoing dispute between British oil giant BP and the joint venture's Russian shareholders, the Kremlin's top economic adviser said on Monday.

TNK-BP CEO Robert Dudley temporarily left Russia last week, blaming a campaign of harassment by Russian billionaire shareholders, and said he would run the company from abroad. Prosecutors on Saturday cleared Dudley over allegations of labor law violations, reported RIA Novosti.

"TNK-BP faces no risks whatsoever to its operations in Russia, and the shareholders must decide what to do next," Arkady Dvorkovich told reporters.

A consortium of four Russian shareholders in TNK-BP, Russia's third largest oil producer, has demanded Dudley's dismissal, accusing the BP-appointed U.S. executive of acting only in BP's interests. The Kremlin has repeatedly said it will not interfere in the dispute.

Dvorkovich reiterated that the state should not step in, but accused other countries of exerting pressure on the Russian shareholders.

"As to administrative pressure and the use of administrative resources, we have witnessed almost all major powers speaking out on the issue, which is undoubtedly an example of administrative and political resources being applied, and we all should avoid doing this," Dvorkovich said.

He said he hopes the shareholders will manage overcome their differences.