Russia seeks assurances from Britain over BP

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will seek a guarantee from David Cameron, the Prime Minister, this week that the BP oil disaster will not damage the Russian economy.

The Russian ambassador to the UK, Yuri Fedotov, yesterday revealed that officials in Moscow are in talks with the embattled oil giant, which extracts 25 per cent of its oil from Russia, on whether it has plans to cut back in the face of massive losses over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The planned talks at the G8 summit in Canada come as the BP board considers large-scale restructuring to prepare for a multi-billion dollar payout for clean up operations and compensation. BP is expected to consider selling $10bn (£6.7bn) worth of assets including North Sea operations, as well as a 1.4 per cent stake in Rosneft, the largest oil company in Russia, worth around $1bn.

It is unlikely that BP will sell its joint venture with the private TNK consortium, which contributes 10 per cent of its profits, not least because the company wants to diversify out of the US over concerns it faces long term unpopularity there. BP boss Tony Hayward, who has faced withering criticism in the US, was conspicuously absent from a gathering of global oil industry leaders in St Petersburg last weekend.

The Russian government and business community were under the impression he was busy handling the Gulf crisis only to discover that he was watching a yacht race around the Isle of Wight.

Mr Fedotov, said: "We want to see how it will work and how this situation will affect the overall strategy of BP and how it may affect these joint ventures in Russia. We want to have some guarantees it will continue to work."

Asked about Mr Hayward's visits to Russia, the ambassador said "We hope to see him again when he does not have other distractions."

Other issues to be covered in the meeting include wanted fugitives, easing visa restrictions and improving trade ties. The UK has sought the extradition of a former KGB official, Andrei Lugovoi, over the murder of Alexander Litvinenko, a fellow ex-agent, in London four years ago.

Moscow says Britain has refused to return more than 40 wanted people.

Mr Fedotov said Mr Cameron and Mr Medvedev would have a "meaningful meeting" with serious discussions about developing ties, and stressed it was not just a "courtesy call".

"We believe that [the meeting] could be a natural opportunity to open a new page in our bilateral relations," he said.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
Jerry Seinfeld Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee
peopleSitcom star urges men to be more supportive of women than ever
Life and Style
Living for the moment: Julianne Moore playing Alzheimer’s sufferer Alice
health
News
Jay Z
businessJay-Z's bid for Spotify rival could be blocked
Sport
footballLouis van Gaal is watching a different Manchester United and Wenger can still spring a surprise
News
The spider makes its break for freedom
VIDEO
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Lettings Negotiator

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Central London based firm loo...

Recruitment Genius: Events / Conference Operations Manager

£25000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Ledger Administrator

£14400 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join a multi-d...

Recruitment Genius: Service, Maintenance & Installation Engineers - London

£34000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This provider of Energy Consult...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot