Page last updated at 16:05 GMT, Sunday, 27 July 2008 17:05 UK

Russia says BP treatment is fair

TNK plaque
Shareholders have disgreed over management

The Russian ambassador in London has dismissed the idea that there has been a government-backed plan to attack BP, in its joint venture TNK-BP.

TNK's boss Robert Dudley has left Russia after visa difficulties.

Ambassador Yuri Fedotov told the BBC it wasn't "harassment" but the result of commonly applied rules.

The British and Russian shareholders of TNK-BP, which is half owned by Russian billionaire group AAR, have disagreed over the firm's management.

On Thursday Mr Dudley said "sustained harassment" had prompted him to leave Russia temporarily.

Shareholders

The comments by Mr Fedotov came after the British embassy in Moscow said the dispute was damaging economies of both Britain and Russia as well as harming the global energy market.

"The way shareholders have manipulated elements of the Russian state bureaucracy and the way this has been allowed to continue is very disappointing," an embassy spokesman said on Friday.

"We will continue to stress to the Russian government the importance of a resolution between the shareholders in full accordance with the rule of law."

In contrast, Russian shareholders say Mr Dudley has not been running the company in the interests of all those involved.

They say removing him as chief executive of TNK-BP is their only goal, but reject the idea that want to control the joint venture.

BP has already removed 150 of its foreign specialists from the country.


SEE ALSO
UK warns of damage in TNK-BP row
25 Jul 08 |  Business
Boss of BP Russia venture leaves
24 Jul 08 |  Business
No end in sight to TNK-BP dispute
24 Jul 08 |  Business
BP says 60 staff leaving Russia
22 Jul 08 |  Business
BP anger over Russian permit move
01 Jul 08 |  Business
Legal threat to new TNK-BP board
27 Jun 08 |  Business

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