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Former Austrian FM quits Russian oil giant

Former Austrian foreign minister Karin Kneissl has become the latest prominent non-national figure to step down from the board of Russian state oil giant Rosneft.

The company announced Kneissl’s resignation on Monday, saying it was thankful for the “joint work over the past 10 months that went on against the background of the pandemic and difficult international situation.”

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Kneissl served as Austria’s foreign minister between 2017 and 2019, contributing to the improvement of ties between Vienna and Moscow. The diplomat made international headlines in 2018 after Russian President Vladimir Putin attended her wedding and danced with her in front of the cameras.

She’s also a contributor at RT, writing opinion pieces on Russia’s relations with the West and other issues.

On Friday, former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Matthias Warnig, the executive director of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, also vacated their positions on the board of Rosneft.

A day before that, the European Parliament had passed a resolution calling for personal sanctions to be imposed on Schroeder over his ties with Russia. In Germany, the political veteran was also stripped of some privileges to which his former office entitled him after retirement.

Kneissl was nominated for the position at Rosneft in March 2021, becoming the first woman on the company’s board.

Other Russian firms have also been losing their top foreign managers since the start of the conflict in Ukraine in late February, which led to Moscow being slapped with draconian international sanctions.

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