Following Sanctions, Russia's 2nd Largest Oil Company Turns on Putin

Russian president Vladimir Putin / Getty Images
March 4, 2022

Lukoil, which produces more than 2 percent of the world's crude oil and is Russia's second-largest oil company, has called for an end to President Vladimir Putin’s bloodthirsty war in Ukraine.

The company's board of directors on Thursday called for "the soonest termination of the armed conflict," a "lasting ceasefire," and "a settlement of problems through serious negotiations and diplomacy." It also expressed "sincere empathy for all victims."

Lukoil chairman and CEO Vagit Alekperov has lost more money—$13 billion—than any other Russian billionaire since the West placed crushing sanctions on Russia, the New York Post reported.

Lukoil is the largest company in Russia not owned by Putin's government. Its stocks in London lost roughly 99 percent of their value after Putin's invasion of Ukraine, CNN reported. And it is already facing calls for a boycott in the United States, where it has 230 gas stations.

Alekperov is not the only oligarch to break ranks with the Kremlin. Alfa-Bank chairman Mikhail Fridman, a close associate of Putin, said this week that "war can never be the answer" and that he wants "bloodshed to end." Alfa-Bank has been severely hit by Western sanctions.

Other Russian oligarchs who have spoken out against Putin include Fridman associate Petr Aven, Tinkoff Bank chairman Oleg Tinkov, and aluminum billionaire Oleg Deripaska.