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2014-05-22 18:45:00

RUSSIA DIVIDES THE WEST

RUSSIA DIVIDES THE WEST

France, which is going ahead with a €1.2bn sale of two warships to Moscow , will be represented by the biggest contingent of foreign business leaders at Russia's Davos this week. But the top echelon of US companies has mostly pulled out.

Six French corporate chiefs are attending the St Petersburg International Economic Forum which starts on Thursday, while seven of 12 senior executives of US companies initially expected to attend have cancelled. While more than 50 ambassadors are due take part, many of them from EU countries, not a single US diplomat is attending this year.

The contrasting attendance reflects differences between Europe and the US over how to respond to Russia's efforts to destabilise eastern Ukraine following its annexation of Crimea. Europe's much closer trade and investment ties make it more reluctant to punish Moscow whereas Washington has imposed wider and tougher sanctions on Russian individuals and companies.

At the forum – which is the place for making contacts and showing presence for international businesses in Russia – the participants' list is as long as ever. But the number of foreign executives and government officials attending fell from 700 last year to an expected 560 this year.

Christophe de Margerie, chief executive of French oil major Total, said last week that attending the forum was "business as usual." He was quoted by Russian news agency Itar Tassas saying that "getting away from politics is a good way to calm down the situation somewhat".

Henri Proglio, chief executive of state-owned power maker EDF and Jean-François Cirelli, chairman of GDF Suez, are due to attend.

Schneider Electric and Alstom confirmed that their chief executives – Jean-Pascal Tricoire and Patrick Kron – were attending. Danone's chief executive Franck Riboud is also still listed as a participant.

France's foreign ministry said attending or not attending was "a decision for the companies to make. We gave them all the details allowing them to make a decision".

There are four German chief executives listed as participants on the eve of the forum, after a couple withdrew, including Siemens' Joe Kaeser and Johannes Teyssen of power distributor Eon.

Siemens said Mr Kaeser would not attend because of his workload, noting that the company's involvement in the forum had been on different management levels in the past, not just the chief executive.

Six business leaders will come from the Nordic countries, while Peter Mandelson has recently been added for the UK, which counts four representatives according to the forum's website, including Bob Dudley, chief executive of BP.

Seven chief executives of US companies, including PepsiCo's Indra Nooyi and Goldman Sachs' Lloyd Blankfein have pulled out after the US administration urged them to do so. Hans-Paul Bürkner, chairman of US-based Boston Consulting Group, and Paal Kibsgaard, chief executive of Schlumberger, are also listed as participants.

ft.com

Tags: RUSSIA, OIL

Chronicle:

RUSSIA DIVIDES THE WEST
September, 22, 08:50:00

RUSSIA - KURDISTAN INVESTMENT

Instead, with the planned referendum just days away, Russian state oil giant Rosneft announced its latest investment last week, to help Iraqi Kurdistan develop its natural gas industry, for domestic supplies and eventual export.

RUSSIA DIVIDES THE WEST
September, 22, 08:45:00

IRAN'S GAS EXPORT: ABOVE 5 BCM

Iran exported over 5 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas during the first five months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21-August 22), Dispatching director of National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) announced.

RUSSIA DIVIDES THE WEST
September, 22, 08:40:00

IRAQI OIL TO U.S.

Gazprom Neft has shipped its second and largest cargo of Iraqi crude to the US since the Badra field, its flagship overseas oil project, came on stream in 2014, the Russian oil company said Tuesday.

RUSSIA DIVIDES THE WEST
September, 22, 08:35:00

QATAR - TURKEY LNG

Qatargas has agreed to sell 1.5 million tpy of LNG to Turkey’s BOTAŞ Petroleum Pipeline Corporation (BOTAŞ) over a period of three years

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