Multinational oil and gas company bp announced that it will exit its shareholding in Russian integrated energy company Rosneft, in which it had 19.75 per cent shareholding 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.
“Russia’s attack on Ukraine is an act of aggression which is having tragic consequences across the region, said bp chair Helge Lund. “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. We can no longer support bp representatives holding a role on the Rosneft board. The Rosneft holding is no longer aligned with bp’s business and strategy and it is now the board’s decision to exit bp’s shareholding in Rosneft. The bp board believes these decisions are in the best long-term interests of all our shareholders.”
“Like so many, I have been deeply shocked and saddened by the situation unfolding in Ukraine and my heart goes out to everyone affected,” added bp chief executive officer Bernard Looney. “It has caused us to fundamentally rethink bp’s position with Rosneft. I am convinced that the decisions we have taken as a board are not only the right thing to do but are also in the long-term interests of bp. Our immediate priority is caring for our great people in the region and we will do our utmost to support them. We are also looking at how bp can support the wider humanitarian effort.”
Joining the efforts in sanctioning Russia, the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen has confirmed that under a new package of measures adopted together with the EU international allies, “important Russian banks will be excluded from the SWIFT system.”