By John Donovan
Russian energy minister Alexander Novak boasted earlier today that Shell (and ExxonMobil) are expanding operations in Russia and the Russian Foreign Ministry has said energy cooperation should not be damaged by political tensions. See extracts below from a RIA Novosti article.
What the Putin regime is claiming is in absolute accordance with what the Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden was saying on Tuesday at the Shell AGM. He bluntly made it clear that Shell’s priority is what is in the economic interests of Shell shareholders, not geopolitical concerns i.e. the invasion of Crimea. That explains why he happily bowed to Putin on Good Friday after the annexation. Ethics and moral issues are put to one side.
Interesting to note that a recent poll in Russia indicated that Putin has an 80% approval rating. Guess the other 20% are locked up in jail.
ST. PETERSBURG, May 23 (RIA Novosti) – Oil and gas giants ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell have expressed their readiness to continue working in Russia, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Friday. “Just now, literally right before the beginning of the session, we talked with the directors of Exxon and Shell and they reconfirmed their desire to continue expanding investment and cooperation with our companies,” Novak said during an interview with CNN on the sidelines of the International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg. The Russian Foreign Ministry, however, has repeatedly stated that economic ties, including energy cooperation, should not be damaged by political tensions.