Why is BP Still in Russia?

Not a bad question from IHT blogger Daniel Altman:

Why didn’t BP just sell off and get out years ago? There was a lesson to be learned in the cases of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Roman Abramovich, two of the savvy investors who became energy oligarchs in Boris Yeltsin’s Russia. Under Vladimir Putin, Khodorkovsky tried to hang onto his stake in Yukos, a Russian oil giant; he lost everything through a dubious tax case and ended up as a sort of political prisoner. Abramovich willingly sold his huge stake in Sibneft, another energy colossus, to Gazprom for about $13 billion; he ended up in London as an expatriate provincial governor and owner of a prominent football club. Which fate would you prefer? If BP doesn’t make a deal soon, will it end up surrendering its assets at a bargain price, as other foreign companies already have? Or is it too late?

See Bob’s BP post from last night.