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16

Rosneft: Compliments From BP

In a surprise appearance at Rosneft's annual shareholders meeting Thursday, BP chief executive Tony Hayward praised the state-run company's performance

In a surprise appearance at Rosneft's annual shareholders meeting Thursday, BP chief executive Tony Hayward praised the state-run company's performance and hinted that the British firm would be a reliable partner in developing new fields.

BP, whose company is locked in a battle with its Russian partners in privately owned TNK-BP, has a $1 billion stake in Rosneft, bought in the firm's initial public offering in 2006.

Along with BP, another oil major, Petronas of Malaysia, was represented at the meeting, with its vice president George Ratilal also making a speech.

Hayward met with Rosneft CEO Sergei Bogdanchikov on Thursday to discuss current cooperation and plans, Bogdanchikov told reporters after the meeting.

In his speech at the meeting, Hayward hailed BP's investment in Rosneft, which he said had yielded a profit of 50 percent, and described the companies' partnership as "reciprocity in action."