BP is to offload its 19.75% stake in state-owned Russian oil giant Rosneft “with immediate effect” following the invasion of Ukraine.
The firm’s chief executive Bernard Looney is also resigning from Rosneft’s board along with its other Rosneft director Bob Dudley, it said in a statement.
The statement said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “caused us to fundamentally rethink BP’s position with Rosneft”.
BP chairman 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. 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.”
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The move comes after BP was pressured by the UK government over its ties with Rosneft.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng held a conference call with Mr Looney for around 20 minutes on Friday to discuss the company’s position.
Mr Kwarteng said: “I welcome BP’s decision to exit its shareholding in Rosneft oil company.
“Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine must be a wake-up call for British businesses with commercial interests in Putin’s Russia.”
Rosneft is also part-owned by the Russian government. BP has held a 19.75% state in the firm since 2013.