Nolte: BP Exits $14 Billion Stake in Russian Oil Giant Rosneft

BP logos are seen at a BP petrol and diesel filling station southeast of London on June 15

British oil company BP is pulling its $14 billion stake from Russian oil giant Rosneft. This, according to the far-left Washington Post, is “one of the most significant Western investments in Russia ever[.]”

“Russia’s attack on Ukraine is an act of aggression which is having tragic consequences across the region,” the head of BP said in a statement. “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.”

The BP move is one more sign that Western public opinion is swiftly moving against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s unjustified invasion of Ukraine, a sovereign nation that gave up its nukes in 1994 in exchange for the Russian government’s security guarantee.

Bob Dudley, chief executive of British energy giant BP (2nd L) , looks on as Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (C) shaking hands during a meeting in Putin’s Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, on March 21, 2013, with Russia’s state oil giant Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin (R) attending. (MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/AFP via Getty Images)

In ways large and small, from consumers to companies to governments, the West is growing more determined by the day to take a bite out of Russia’s economic might and military aggression with a mixture of sanctions,  boycotts, and the denial of airspace.

More from the Post:

The world’s biggest computer-chip companies have started halting sales to Russia of vital electronic components, to comply with U.S.-led sanctions. And the European Union is banning Russian flights from its airspace, forcing Russian airline Aeroflot to cancel many flights.

Hours after BP’s announcement, Norway’s state-controlled oil company said it, too, was quitting its investments in Russia — a group of joint ventures it valued at $1.2 billion.

“We are all deeply troubled by the invasion of Ukraine, which represents a terrible setback for the world,” Anders Opedal, president and chief executive of Equinor, said in a statement. “In the current situation, we regard our position as untenable,” he added, saying that the company will begin “exiting our joint ventures in a manner that is consistent with our values.”

Good heavens, even the notoriously neutral Swiss have announced sanctions against Russia, which means, and probably for the first time in history,  no more Swiss bank accounts for Russian gangsters, including Putin and his top lieutenants.

Undoubtedly, much of this reactions has been driven by the surprising resistance Ukraine appears to be putting up against Putin’s army. The Ukrainians, most especially Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, are also winning the public relations war as the scrappy, patriotic, and determined underdogs in this fight. More than that, though, the fact that they are holding out is inspiring people, who otherwise might not have given much thought to a regional squabble over territory, to take a side.

What’s more, on top of the financial pain being thrown Putin’s way, some Western governments, including the U.S. are announcing weapons shipments to Ukraine.

All of the above puts enormous pressure on Putin to begin cease-fire talks, which might be happening as I write this.

In the end, while no one can guess how a gangster like Putin might react, and if the news reports about the resistance are accurate, the Russian president is now between a rock and a hard place.

Does he withdraw his invasion and accept the humiliation that comes with such a decision? Or does he go down in history as a monster who murdered countless civilians and leveled cities only to face an insurgency supported by Western countries that will isolate him and label him a godless war criminal?

Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC. Follow his Facebook Page here.


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