British multinational energy giant bp has announced that it is exiting its 19.75% share in Russian oil and gas company Rosneft. As a result, bp’s chief executive officer Bernard Looney, who has been on Rosneft’s board since 2020, will be resigning from the board of Rosneft together with other bp director and former chief executive Bob Dudley, who has been on the board of the Russian firm since the British company acquired its stake in 2013.

bp said the exit is primarily driven by the events that are resulting from the current tension between Russia, Ukraine and western countries.

bp chair Helge Lund said: “… our involvement with Rosneft, a state-owned enterprise, simply cannot continue. We can no longer support bp representatives holding a role on the Rosneft board. The Rosneft holding is no longer aligned with bp’s business and strategy and it is now the board’s decision to exit bp’s shareholding in Rosneft. The bp board believes these decisions are in the best long-term interests of all our shareholders.” 

bp will not report net income from Rosneft as from 31 March 2022 and will exit other business operations that link the two oil and gas companies in Russia. As of the last quarter of 2021, bp’s stake in Rosneft was worth $11 billion.