The board of directors of Norway's energy giant Equinor agreed to start exit from joint ventures in Russia and halt new investments there, the company announced in a statement Monday.
At the end of 2021, Equinor had $1.2 billion in non-current assets in Russia, according to the statement.
'We are all deeply troubled by the invasion of Ukraine, which represents a terrible setback for the world, and we are thinking of all those who are suffering because of the military action,' Anders Opedal, president and CEO of Equinor, was quoted as saying in the statement.
The decision to exit joint ventures in Russia is expected to impact the book value of Equinor's Russian assets and lead to impairments.
The company has been in Russia for over 30 years and entered a cooperation agreement with Rosneft in 2012.
Equinor said it has operated in compliance with sanctions from Norway, the European Union and the United States, and will continue to comply with any new sanctions relevant to its operations.
'In the current situation, we regard our position as untenable. We will now stop new investments into our Russian business and we will start the process of exiting our joint ventures in a manner that is consistent with our values. Our top priority in this difficult situation is the safety and security of our people,' Opedal said, adding that the company has employees from both Ukraine and Russia.
'We are proud of how our people from different backgrounds and nationalities collaborate with mutual respect, as one team in Equinor,' he said.
Equinor also said it would commit to funding for the humanitarian effort in the region.
Equinor becomes the second Western company to have agreed on pulling out of Russia following bp’s decision to do so.
bp announced Sunday that it will exit its 19.75% shareholding in Russian oil giant Rosneft due to Russia's military attack on Ukraine.
By Nuran Erkul Kaya