Russia's Rosneft files suit against Reuters over BP article

March 29, 2023 07:54 PM MSK | By Reuters
Image source: Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - Russian oil giant Rosneft has filed a suit against Reuters in a Moscow court, alleging parts of a Reuters article about BP's decision to exit its stake in Rosneft were defamatory.

Rosneft's claim, filed in Moscow Arbitration Court on March 16, alleges that several statements attributed to BP executives in the story are false, including one saying Rosneft was "dissonant" with BP's strategy. It also said a sentence saying France had linked a yacht it had impounded to Rosneft Chief Executive Igor Sechin was false.

The article was first published by Reuters on March 9, 2022, and then updated on June 23 to add a comment from Rosneft and correct a reference to when BP CEO Bernard Looney took up a seat on Rosneft's board.

Rosneft asked in the legal claim for the court to issue an order saying statements in the story are false and for the article to be removed and a retraction issued by Reuters.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the news organisation said: "Reuters is and always has been committed to reporting news fairly and accurately in the public interest, in keeping with the Thomson Reuters Trust Principles. We stand by our reporting."

Rosneft's court filing said an initial hearing of the case should take place by Sept. 21.

BP said in late February 2022 that it was exiting its 19.75%stake in Rosneft, which had held since 2013, following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

(Reporting by Veronica Brown; Editing by Rachel Armstrong and Daniel Wallis)

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