In an interview with Public TV’s Lurer program, President Armen Sarkissian has spoken about his former relationship with British Petroleum.
“My relationship with BP is very simple. In the early 2000s, when I regained my health, I was no longer a civil servant, I was in business and engaged in academic life, I had my center at Cambridge University, I also provided consulting services,” President Sarkissian said.
“I worked with different companies, at the same time I founded the Global Energy Council that operated within the framework of the World Economic Forum. After three years, other presidents came. In a sense, I specialized in modern technologies, telecom and energy, and BP offered me to work with them on a specific project. BP was planning to buy the Russian oil giant TNK. First of all, I checked with our Russian partners, they had a great desire, they were happy that I would be the negotiator-consultant. I was not negotiating in a commercial sense, it was about the political element. I got involved in that. At the same time, my contract clearly stated that I only work with them on this issue,” the President said.
“At my request, a special clause was included in that contract, saying that no one can even ask my opinion about the Caucasus, because I have a conflict of interest there. In other words, I can not give an unbiased opinion, because I am Armenian, and being Armenia is above everything for me. And no one even tried. After 1-2 years of work, not only with BP, but also with the Russian side, including the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Energy, we successfully completed the deal,” President Sarkissian noted.
The agreement was signed on June 23, 2003, within the framework of the Russian-British Business Forum. “At that time, the relations between Britain and Russia were very warm. I was present at that forum, at the signing, and it was attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, the leadership of the British Petroleum, TNK’s Mikhail Friedman, Viktor Wexelberg, Len Blavatnik and others.”
“That day ended successfully, and it was the end of my career with BP. The rest is the result of a morbid, highly desirable, well-funded desire to link it to some absolute nonsense,” he said.