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Ex-U.S. Official Will Not Join Russian Oil Company

20 December 2005 -- Former U.S. Commerce Secretary Donald Evans will not accept a job offer at that Russian state oil company Rosneft.

Russian President Vladimir Putin raised the possibility of a top job with Rosneft during a meeting with Evans two weeks ago in Moscow.

Speaking to reporters in Washington yesterday, Evans said he wouldn't have the time to do the job properly.

Commentators suggested Putin made the offer to Evans -- a close friend of U.S. President George W. Bush -- in order to gain influence in the Bush administration.

Rosneft is now one of Russia's biggest oil companies after acquiring the largest production unit of the Yukos oil company in a disputed auction earlier this year.