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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

BP's Browne on Rosneft

BP's $1 billion investment in the initial public offering of Rosneft may enhance the relationship between Europe's largest oil company and Russia, BP's chief executive officer said.

"I think it's important to support Rosneft,'' John Browne said in an interview in London. "It's about enhancing our relationship with a country, something we have done in the past in China."

BP already has a partnership with Rosneft on the Sakhalin-5 project. TNK-BP, its Russian venture, works with Rosneft at the Verkhnechonskoye field in Siberia.

Browne said he planned to retire when he reached 60 in 2008 and that he would hand over running Europe's biggest oil company to one of several executives he has been grooming as a successor. (Bloomberg)

WTO Entry by October?

Russia expects to win U.S. approval to join the World Trade Organization in October, after failing to reach a deal at the Group of Eight summit in St. Petersburg earlier this month, RIA-Novosti reported.

Russia's chief negotiator for WTO entry, Maxim Medvedkov, said an accord with the United States should be reached by "mid-October," though Costa Rica and Moldova could still block Russia's entry to the 149-member group, the news agency said.

Costa Rica is seeking cheaper tariffs on raw sugar exports to Russia, the world's biggest consumer of the product, and Moldova, a former Soviet republic, wants restrictions on wine exports lifted, RIA-Novosti said. (Bloomberg)

Baltic Pipe Ownership

German firms E.On, Ruhrgas and Wintershall, which are all involved in the North European Gas Pipeline to deliver Russian gas to Western Europe via a route under the Baltic Sea will see their stakes reduced as the Netherlands' Gasunie enters the picture, the German companies said, The International Herald Tribune reported Tuesday.

The reductions are necessary so that gas monopoly Gazprom will be able retain a majority in the pipeline, the companies said.

Gasunie agreed in principle in June to take a stake in the $12.5 billion pipeline. As a consequence, E.On, Ruhrgas and Wintershall will see their stakes reduced from 24.5 percent to 20 percent, the newspaper said. (MT)

French Poultry Ban Lifted

Russia has lifted a ban on poultry and poultry products from two French regions imposed last year following an outbreak of Newcastle disease, the Agriculture Ministry said Tuesday.

The ban on imports from the Pas-de-Calais and Loire-Atlantique regions was lifted Monday, the ministry said in a statement.

Russia in November banned imports of live birds, hatching eggs, poultry meat and all poultry products not subjected to thermal treatment, poultry feed and used equipment for poultry keeping and slaughtering from Pas-de-Calais. (Reuters)