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Russia

With Putin's Help, BP May Team Up With Russian State To Explore Arctic For Oil

KOMMERSANT(Russia) BBC

Worldcrunch

MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin is back in the middle of the oil business.

Putin met this week with the head of Rosneft, a partially state-owned oil company, as well as the president of BP and a representative from the British multinational's board of directors to see if a partnership between the two firms was possible, Kommersant reported.

According to people familiar with the proposed deal, Rosneft would buy BP’s 50 percent stake in THK-BP, a joint venture between BP and Alfa Access Renova, a Russian company owned by four billionaires. Rosneft would pay for half of the deal with cash, and the other half would be paid for in shares.

Under the current plan, BP would get 12.53% of Rosneft’s shares, making it the largest shareholder in the company after the Russian government, Kommersant reported.

But a BP spokesman told the BBC, “No formal offers have been received, so any figures being bandied about are pure speculation at this stage.”

The two companies hope to work together to explore the Russian Arctic for oil, but their attempts to form a partnership have been complicated by BP’s soured relationship with its partners in THK-BP, Alfa Access Renova, the BBC reported.

In addition, the whole deal will need to have the approval of the Russian government. Kommersant reports, however, that the Russian government is not currently prepared to give the green light.

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Geopolitics

Minerals And Violence: A Papal Condemnation Of African Exploitation, Circa 2023

Before heading to South Sudan to continue his highly anticipated trip to Africa, the pontiff was in the Democratic Republic of Congo where he delivered a powerful speech, in a country where 40 million Catholics live.

Minerals And Violence: A Papal Condemnation Of African Exploitation, Circa 2023
Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — You may know the famous Joseph Stalin quote: “The Pope? How many divisions has he got?” Pope Francis still has no military divisions to his name, but he uses his voice, and he does so wisely — sometimes speaking up when no one else would dare.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo (the former Belgian Congo, a region plundered and martyred, before and after its independence in 1960), Francis has chosen to speak loudly. Congo is a country with 110 million inhabitants, immensely rich in minerals, but populated by poor people and victims of brutal wars.

That land is essential to the planetary ecosystem, and yet for too long, the world has not seen it for its true value.

The words of this 86-year-old pope, who now moves around in a wheelchair, deserve our attention. He undoubtedly said what a billion Africans are thinking: "Hands off the Democratic Republic of the Congo! Hands off Africa! Stop choking Africa: It is not a mine to be stripped or a terrain to be plundered!"

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