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Russian, British Leaders May Discuss TNK-BP

MOSCOW-- Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown may discuss the troubled Anglo-Russian oil joint venture TNK-BP on the sidelines of next week's G8 summit, a Russian official said on Thursday.

Arkady Dvorkovich, Medvedev's top economic adviser, told journalists that Russia would continue to insist that the government should not get involved in a conflict between private sector shareholders.

BP is locked in a battle with its four Russian-connected billionaire partners about strategy, control and management of the company, which is Britain's biggest single investment in Russia.

"This issue will not be discussed at the G8 summit," Dvorkovich said in answer to a question. "... This question may come up in the meeting between British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the President of Russia."

Officials in both countries have confirmed that Brown and Medvedev will hold a first meeting on the sidelines of the G8 in an attempt to ease strained diplomatic relations.