Russia's Lukoil Pulls Out of Three Central Europe States

August 5, 2014

Russia's largest private oil producer Lukoil said on Monday it was selling its filling stations in three central European nations as part of an "optimisation" plan that has already seen it pull out of Ukraine.

The decision came just weeks after the chief executive of the ambitious firm -- which produces one-sixth of the country's oil and more than two percent of the world total -- warned that increasingly tough Western economic sanctions would "have repercussions for all (Russian) companies".

Lukoil said in a brief statement that it was selling its network of 44 filling stations in the Czech Republic to Slovnaft, the Slovak subsidiary of Hungary's MOL Group.

It added that its 75 stations in Hungary and 19 in Slovakia would both be purchased by Hungary's Norm Benzinkut Kft.

Lukoil said the deals will close by the end of the year but provided no financial details.

"The decision to sell the assets was taken as part of the effort to optimise Lukoil's business in petroleum product markets," its statement said.

Russia was last month struck by stiff sanctions against vital economic sectors such as oil production by the United States and EU nations upset about its involvement in war-torn Ukraine.

Copyright, AFP, 2014.