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BP in line for huge payday from Putin’s energy company despite pledging to sell stake

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BP is in line for dividends worth hundreds of millions of pounds from Russian oil and gas giant Rosneft, even after pledging to give up his stake in the company.

Oil and gas giant FTSE 100 still owns just under 20% of Rosneft and is therefore entitled to its share of Rosneft’s 441 billion ruble (£6.4 billion) payment for 2021, worth around £1.2 billion.

Just before Russia invaded Ukraine, BP received a $464 million dividend from Rosneft to cover the first half of 2021, but is still entitled to the second half payment.

However, it is unclear whether he will ever get the second payment, as Russia hits back at sanctions imposed on the West for its war on Ukraine.

Russia first banned companies from paying dividends to foreign shareholders, then blocked payments to companies from “hostile” countries, including Britain and the United States.

The funds are instead placed in restricted accounts, with Russian approval to withdraw the money from Russia. BP does not count this as dividend income.

BP announced in February that it would sell Rosneft’s stake and reduced it to zero in its accounts.

He has limited options, however, with Russia preventing the sale of some assets and a limited pool of buyers.