Business

BP’s exit opens new front in Western campaign against Russia

FILE PHOTO: An illuminated BP logo appears at a gas station in Gateshead, UK, September 23, 2021. REUTERS / Lee Smith

February 28, 2022

By Ron Bousso and Nerijus Adomaitis

(Reuters) – The big energy BP has opened a new front in the West’s campaign to isolate the Russian economy, with its decision to abandon the oil-rich country the most aggressive move by a company to date in response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Western allies have stepped up efforts to punish Russia with new sanctions, such as closing its airspace to Russian aircraft, cutting off some of its banks from the SWIFT financial network and restricting Moscow’s ability to expand its foreign exchange reserves. $ 630 billion – measures expected to pulverize the country. economy.

The ruble fell almost 30% to an all-time low against the dollar on Monday.

BP, Russia’s largest foreign investor, has said it is abandoning its stake in state-owned oil company Rosneft at a cost of up to $ 25 billion, halving its oil and gas reserves by half.

The British company’s sharp move brings to the fore other Western companies operating in Russia amid mounting pressure from governments to tighten economic ties in Moscow after launching the biggest attack on a European country since World War II.

The Norwegian state-owned Equinor energy group said Monday it would begin divesting its consortia in Russia. Norway’s state-owned investment fund, the largest in the world, will also sell its Russian assets, valued at about NOK 25 billion ($ 2.80 billion).

In a video call Sunday, the European Union’s internal market chief told CEOs of Alphabet and its YouTube unit to ban users who are pushing for war propaganda as part of measures to stop misinformation about Ukraine.

EU bans Russian media outlets RT and Sputnik, and Alphabet’s Google bans Russian state media RT and other channels from receiving money for ads on their websites, applications and YouTube videos, similar to Facebook’s move after invasion.

A FORBIDDEN ZONE

In an unprecedented move, European nations and Canada have moved to close their airspace to Russian aircraft, and the United States is considering similar action, according to US officials.

US-based United Parcel Service Inc and FedEx Corp., two of the world’s largest logistics companies, have said they are shutting down deliveries to Russia and Ukraine.

Large sections of the Russian economy will be a no-go zone for Western banks and financial companies following the decision to cut off some of its banks from SWIFT, a secure messaging system used for trillions of dollars worth of transactions around the world.

Even neutral Switzerland is likely to follow the European Union in imposing sanctions on Russia and freezing Russian assets, its president said on Sunday.

The Russians lined up at ATMs at the weekend, worrying that the new sanctions would cause cash shortages and disrupt payments.

(Report by Ron Bousso and Dmitry Zhdannikov in London and Foo Yun Chee in Brussels: Written by Carmel Crimmins: Edited by Grant McCool)



BP’s exit opens new front in Western campaign against Russia

Source link BP’s exit opens new front in Western campaign against Russia

Back to top button