Monday, November 29, 1999

Russia`s Medvedev concerned over BP, euro - WSJ

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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev told the Wall Street Journal in an interview that he was concerned about the fate of the euro and said the Gulf of Mexico oil spill could threaten the survival of BP PLC.Medvedev, interviewed in St Petersburg on the eve of his state visit to the United States, did not rule out financial assistance to struggling European nations, but said the European Union should bear the burden of any major "financial injections."The report said that Medvedev, asked whether Europe's debt turmoil could threaten the euro, said, "I don't exaggerate the threat, but it can't be underestimated."Medvedev also questioned whether the oil spill might lead to the breakup of BP. He stopped short of saying Russia would re-evaluate BP's lucrative partnership in Russia, the report said.The Russian president predicted that the spill will prompt a fundamental rethinking of oil exploration around the world."This is a wake-up call," Mr. Medvedev said. Of BP's fate, the Journal quoted him as saying, "Certainly, we are not indifferent to their future. ... Hopefully, they can absorb the losses."

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