Well it seems that Lord Browne’s visit to Russia has been productive – the Kremlin has given him clear instructions on how he can salvage TNK-BP’s stake in the Kovykta project, or at least make up for the loses incurred: lend BP’s good name to the Yukos auction to give this rigged event an appearance of legitimacy (of course this is the second time BP has cowered before the bear – apparently the $1 billion investment in the Rosneft IPO wasn’t sufficient).
What is remarkable here is that it seems that everyone, perhaps even BP included, is fully aware that this auction is absolute farce, and the only reason to participate is to purchase future access to a woefully corrupt Russian business model. The stated plans of BP, ENI, Enel, and a raft of Western banks not only perpetuates and props up a hostile energy empire that threatens EU security of supply, it is also funding the continued backsliding of Russian democracy and the piecemeal destruction of civil liberties for Russian citizens From the Times – “TNK-BP to enter $7bn Yukos auction“:
One City-based source said TNK-BP was likely to have been “invited” to take part in the Rosneft auction to ensure it looks competitive. “It seems pretty clear that either Gazprom or Rosneft itself will win the shares,” he told TimesOnline.
This Russian energy blackmail and Western corporate opportunism represent a political cocktail that modern democracies can no longer afford to swallow. Watching this passion play of corporate greed and surrender to autocracy spits in the face of modern corporate governance – and underscores that the only thing green that these corporations understand is money.