BP ups stakes by accusing Putin of failing to stop hijack by oligarchs
BP has upped the stakes in its battle for control of its Russian joint venture, by accusing Vladimir Putin of damaging his country's reputation through failing to intervene in the escalating dispute.
John Sutherland, the BP chairman, used a press conference in Stockholm to lament the prime minister's lack of action to halt oligarchs using strong-arm tactics to try to take control of TNK-BP.
"This is just a return to the corporate raiding activities that were prevalent in Russia in the 1990s. Prime minister Putin has referred to these tactics as relics of the 1990s, but unfortunately our partners continue to use them," Sutherland said.
"The leaders of the country seem unwilling or unable to step in and stop them. This is bad for us, bad for the company, and, of course, very bad for Russia," he added.