French Finance Minister to Discuss Russia Ties With TotalEnergies, Engie
By Dimitri Delmond and Joshua Kirby
French finance minister Bruno Le Maire said Tuesday that he will
speak to the leaders of energy companies TotalEnergies SE and Engie
SA about their links with Russia, after their energy-major peers
withdrew from their interests in the country.
Speaking on TV channel France Inter, Mr. Le Maire said it is
problematic to work with any figure in politics or the economy who
is close to the Russian leadership, after the nation launched an
invasion of neighboring Ukraine. He added that he would discuss the
matter with TotalEnergies's president and CEO Patrick Pouyanne and
Engie CEO Catherine MacGregor.
Following the comments, TotalEnergies said it would invest no
capital in new projects in Russia, and that it backed the scope and
strength of sanctions put in place by the European Union.
"TotalEnergies will implement [the sanctions] regardless of the
consequences, (currently being assessed,) on its activities in
Russia," the company said.
TotalEnergies holds a stake of close to 20% in Russian gas firm
Novatek, and the country accounted for around 16.6% of the
company's total hydrocarbon output in 2020, according to its most
Mr. Le Maire said he was certain that Mr. Pouyanne was aware of
the seriousness of the situation and that the group would make a
decision in the coming days.
As for Engie, the company helped finance the now-halted Nord
Stream 2 gas pipeline linking Russia to Germany.
The minister's comments come after several European companies
withdrew from their interests in Russia. British oil company BP PLC
said Sunday that it would divest its nearly 20% stake in Russian
state oil company Rosneft, valued around $14 billion, amid pressure
from the United Kingdom government.
Shell PLC subsequently said it would withdraw from joint
ventures in Russia and quit its own financing of Nord Stream 2.
Norway's Equinor ASA also said it would it exit its Russian
Engie declined to comment when contacted by Agefi-Dow Jones.
This story was translated in whole or in part from a
French-language version initially published by L'Agefi-Dow
Write to Dimitri Delmond at firstname.lastname@example.org and to Joshua
Kirby at email@example.com; @joshualeokirby
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
March 01, 2022 05:17 ET (10:17 GMT)
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