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12 Jun, 2008 12:47

BP chief accuses TNK of corporate raiding

The Russian shareholders of oil company TNK-BP have announced they're starting legal action against BP after the two sides failed to reach a compromise over management strategy. The BP Chairman has called the actions of the shareholders “raiding&rdq

“It is unfortunately a much simpler dispute over control, and perhaps ultimately ownership of the company,” Peter Sutherland told reporters in Stockholm.

He also said the government seems either “unwilling or unable to step in and stop them.”

The Russian partners of the joint oil venture, Alfa Group, Access Industries and Renova, have already called for the resignation of TNK-BP's American CEO Robert Dudley, saying he represents the interests of BP only.

BP has accused the Russians of violating their shareholder agreement.

The TNK-BP conflict comes amid growing market speculation that a Russian state-owned firm, such as Gazprom or Rosneft, will eventually gain a major stake in the company.