Friday, March 24

Russia’s largest private oil company calls for a “diplomatic” solution to the war in Ukraine

Lukoil, the second largest oil company in Russia and the first private operator in this sector in the country, has become this Thursday the first Russian company to publicly denounce the conflict in Ukraine.

In a statement, Lukoil’s board of directors expressed this Thursday “its concern about the traffic events that are taking place in Ukraine and its deep sympathy for all those affected by this tragedy.”

“We urge a rapid cessation of the armed conflict and we fully support its resolution through a negotiation process, through diplomatic channels.”

The call for an end to the conflict by Lukoil, which has a notable presence in the United States, where in recent days a boycott has been called against its service stations, is the first made by a Russian company. Another important oligarch of that country, the aluminum tycoon Oleg Derispaska, has also called for the cessation of hostilities.

Lukoil is the largest private company in the sector in Russia and the third largest company in the country after the state-owned Sberbank and Rosneft. Its president, founder and largest shareholder, Vagit Alekperov, former deputy minister of energy of the former USSR, is one of the greatest fortunes in Russia and belongs to the circle of businessmen closest to the Russian president, Vladimir Putin.

Forbes attributed this Thursday to Alekperov, who controls around 28% of Lukoil, a fortune estimated at 18,600 million dollars, despite the collapse in the price suffered by companies in that country after the invasion of Ukraine and the sanctions imposed by West in retaliation.

Lukoil was already the target of US sanctions imposed on numerous Russian companies in 2014 over the annexation of Crimea, when Russia first invaded Ukraine. So far it has been spared, like the rest of the energy companies, from the EU sanctions.

The oil company is known in Spain for its frustrated attempt to enter the capital of Repsol in 2008, an operation in which, as it was learned years later, when the scandals of Juan Carlos I began to transcend, Corinna Larsen participated as an intermediary, the then lover of the king emeritus.