BP´s new deal with Russian Rosneft shows that the British company does not adhere to any kind of moral principles. BP is according to the former chief financial officer of Yukos participating in a form of money laundering of Rosneft’s stolen assets. Two years ago it was a different story:
Photographs of BP’s new CEO, Robert Dudley, smiling next to Putin and Sechin at Putin’s Novo-Ogaryovo residence Friday were shown in newspapers all over the world. But just two years ago, in 2008, BP’s Moscow offices were being raided by gun-wielding police in what was thought to be an attempt to make BP discard its Russian joint venture. Then, Dudley wasn’t smiling. He was forced to flee the country after being questioned by police over alleged tax fraud. It appears that Dudley has a very short memory.
Since the deal was announced, BP and Rosneft have both emphasized that it gives them the unique opportunity to jointly explore for offshore oil and gas, particularly in the Arctic, that was previously reserved for Russian oil companies only. Dudley said it sends a “strong signal about the possibilities of investment cooperation in Russia.”
Meanwhile, BP Russia’s president Jeremy Huck said on Ekho Moskvy: “The projects we’re planning with Rosneft are sanctioned by the Russian government. The question about where those assets are from, that’s better asked of Rosneft or the government.” That’s called burying one’s corporate head and corporate ethics in the sand.
Some say Rosneft’s actions are likely to scare off Western investors, depriving Russia of Western investment capital that it desperately needs. Shareholders and investors have no guarantee of the security of Rosneft’s ethics and ownership. Yukos has more than 55,000 shareholders, more than 50,000 of whom are Russian. They are still waiting for answers.
The truth has not changed one iota after BP’s investment in Rosneft. BP is calling its own business ethics into question. How will the international finance community now start treating BP once it has become clear that BP is participating in a form of money laundering of Rosneft’s stolen assets? Many BP shareholders have already answered this question, showing their understandble concern about Rosneft’s reputation and the fact that BP sold itself out in terms of the company’s reputation and its stated commitment to corporate governance and transparency.
Read the entire article in the Moscow Times here.