BusinessCompany NewsKremlin investigates BP’s tax affairs

Kremlin investigates BP's tax affairs

Analysts say treatment has echoes of Shell affair

BP’s Russian joint venture TNK-BP is facing criminal investigation, it has
emerged.

The petrol giant has been forced to recall 150 staff to the parent group amid
fears that the Kremlin tax authorities could use the same strong-arm tactics it
used against Shell to force BP to partially hand the company over to state
control.

Issues that the interior ministry is looking into include alleged tax evasion
of £21m at Sidanco, a business which merged with TNK-BP, which is owned 50/50 by
BP and three local oligarchs, the
Guardian
reported.

President-elect Dmitry Medvedev maintains that the investigations into TNK-BP
are not politically motivated and have nothing to do with recent tense relations
between Moscow and London.

Analysts have spotted similarities in the treatment meted out to Shell. It
was forced to hand part of its Russian Sakhalin-2 operation to the state-owned
Gazprom.

Further reading:

Sakhalin to hit Shell reserves accounting

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