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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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Society

Colombia Celebrates Its Beloved Drug For The Ages, Coffee

This essential morning drink for millions worldwide was once considered an addictive menace, earning itself a ban on pain of death in the Islamic world.

Colombia's star product: coffee beans.

Julián López de Mesa Samudio

-Essay-

BOGOTÁ — October 1st is International Coffee Day. Recently it seems as if every day of the calendar year commemorates something — but for Colombia, coffee is indeed special.

For almost a century now we have largely tied our national destiny, culture and image abroad to this drink. Indeed it isn't just Colombia's star product, it became through the course of the 20th century the world's favorite beverage — and the most commonly used drug to boost work output.

Precisely for its stimulating qualities — and for being a mild drug — coffee was not always celebrated, and its history is peppered with the kinds of bans, restrictions and penalties imposed on the 'evil' drugs of today.

Keep reading...Show less

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