MOSCOW, October 22 (RIA Novosti) – Russia's largest bank Sberbank expressed condolences over the death of Christophe de Margerie, CEO of French oil and gas giant Total, in a statement released on the bank's website Wednesday.
"I am deeply shocked by the tragic death of Christophe de Margerie…I offer my most sincere condolences to the family of Mr. de Margerie and to the team of Total," Sberbank's CEO German Gref was quoted as saying in the statement.
"For us Mr. de Margerie was much more than a great professional, he made an enormous contribution to the development of the French and international oil industry and was a true friend - for Russia, Sberbank and for me personally. He will be always remembered and deeply respected," Gref said.
De Margerie died Monday night when his business jet departing for Paris crashed in Moscow's Vnukovo-3 Airport after hitting a snowplow during takeoff. None of the four people on board – de Margerie and three crew members – survived.
The Total CEO had always defended Russia, after the West started accusing Moscow of meddling in Ukraine's internal affairs, hitting its oil, defense, and banking industries with multiple rounds of economic sanctions.
Total is France's second-largest listed company and one of the top foreign investors in Russia.