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Russian shareholders set to attend TNK-BP annual meeting

MOSCOW, June 25 (RIA Novosti) - Russian shareholders are preparing to attend an annual general meeting of TNK-BP Holding on Thursday despite media reports that the Russian partners were set to boycott the event.

The agenda for the meeting of the Russian-British oil venture, which is embroiled in a bitter shareholder dispute, will include the election of a new board of directors.

An official spokesperson for the Alfa-Access-Renova (AAR) consortium representing the Russian shareholders, Stan Polovets, told the Moscow-based Business FM radio station that the Russian co-owners from AAR would participate in the meeting.

Media reports earlier this week said the Russian shareholders could boycott the board meeting. They are demanding the replacement of TNK-BP CEO Robert Dudley, who they accuse of putting BP's interests ahead of those of TNK-BP.

The Russian co-owners of TNK-BP have proposed Dudley step down and BP appoint a chief executive outside of BP. Recent media reports said the four Russian board members have already stepped down. The information has not been officially confirmed.

AAR, which includes businessmen Viktor Vekselberg, German Khan, Mikhail Fridman and Len Blavatnik - said last week it would sue BP, which holds the other 50% in TNK-BP, for attempts to seize control of the joint venture. The consortium said it planned legal action in the international arbitration court in Stockholm, as well as in Russia.

A Russian labor regulator fined TNK-BP CEO Dudley and the oil company 3,000 rubles ($125) and 40,000 rubles ($1,650), respectively, on Monday for labor code violations.

Set up in 2003, TNK-BP is Russia's third largest producer. It accounts for a quarter of BP's overall output.

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