EU Discusses TNK-BP With Sechin

EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner discussed recent problems at TNK-BP with Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin on Wednesday, Reuters reported.

Ferrero-Waldner, speaking to reporters Wednesday, did not say whether TNK-BP had been discussed, and her spokeswoman declined to comment on the issue.

"They talked about a whole range of issues, including the [EU] cooperation agreement and its energy dimension," said the spokeswoman, Christiane Hohmann.

Ferrero-Waldner described her talks with Sechin, who also heads Rosneft, as "very good and concrete."

Reuters, citing an unidentified source, said Sechin and Ferrero-Waldner had talked about mounting pressure from authorities on TNK-BP. The source said TNK-BP's future was considered by the European Commission to be a test case for the successful role of European investors in Russia.

Reuters also said Ferrero-Waldner had met TNK-BP chief Robert Dudley for private discussions, but Hohmann denied this. She said, however, that the two had attended a reception Tuesday evening hosted by the European delegation.