With Friends Like These . . . BP And Russian Partners Fight

British oil major BP Plc accused the Russian partners in its TNK-BP joint venture of acting like corporate raiders on Thursday, but the Russian shareholders countered that BP had insulted the Kremlin.

The exchange added to the hostile atmosphere in a boardroom battle that has alarmed investors and cast a shadow over TNK-BP TNBPI.RTS, a unit that accounts for a quarter of BP's worldwide output and 20 percent of its reserves.

A day after the Russian shareholders announced they were suing the British company, BP chairman Peter Sutherland accused them of trying to seize control over Russia's third largest oil producer while Kremlin leaders stood by and watched.

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