Hayward faces Moscow grilling

BP CEO Tony Hayward faced some tough questions as hesought to reassure the Russian government about thecompany’s commitment to the region

BP CEO Tony Hayward faced some tough questions as hesought to reassure the Russian government about thecompany’s commitment to the region

Dmitry Medvedev has proposed an international agreement for tackling the prevention and treatment of oil spills, as Tony Hayward addressed worries about the company’s activities in Russia.

BP, whose stock tumbled to a 13-year low amid fears of a crippling bill following the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, sought to reassure the Russian government of its local commitments. Speculation – including from president Dmitry Medvedev – has arisen that the company may be forced to sell off global assets to help pay for the clean-up.

The company has operated a major joint venture, TNK-BP, with Russian investors since 2003.

In a separate statement on the sidelines of the recent G20 summit in Toronto, Mr Medvedev proposed setting up a special fund for tackling the consequences of oil spills, as well and insuring against such risks. He pledged Moscow would pass a law on this in the near future.

“ The main problem definitely is not in the lack of financing, although accidents like in the Gulf of Mexico are very expensive.

“The greater damage is inflicted on the ecology … which cannot be evaluated in money,” Mr Medvedev said.

The Russian president also proposed forming an international agreement, which would deal with the prevention and consequences of such dangerous accidents.

Meanwhile, oil from the spillage washed up for the first time in Mississippi on Sunday, June 27, reported Reuters. The company has already spent $2.35bn on clean-up costs, the report said.

All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.