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    French Total Plans to Continue Business in Russia Amid Falling Oil Prices

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    According to the Russian Energy Ministry, the French energy company Total would continue participating in joint projects in Russia.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – French energy giant Total maintains its plans to continue participating in joint projects in Russia, despite temporary difficulties it is currently experiencing, the Russian Energy Ministry reports, citing the company's CEO Patrick Pouyanne.

    The French company will stick to its current course, which is the same as it was under former Total CEO Christophe de Mangerie, Pouyanne said, as quoted by the ministry Thursday, after a meeting with Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak.

    According to Novak, Total has been Russia's stable and trustworthy partner for many years and the current joint projects the company is working on in Russia have been successful.

    Pouyanne told Le Monde at the end of last month that Total would cut its exploration spending by 30 percent, amid the current fall in oil prices. The CEO stressed, however, that Total has overcome periods of low oil prices in the past, and will come through without difficulties.

    Total's business in Russia has also been hampered by western economic sanctions imposed against the country over its alleged involvement in the Ukrainian conflict. The latest round of sanctions imposed in September banned the provision of technical and other assistance to Russian companies for oil exploration and production.

    Patrick Pouyanne has been appointed as the director general of the French oil giant Total after his predecessor CEO Christophe de Margerie died at Moscow's Vnukovo-3 Airport in October, when his Falcon 50 business jet crashed upon take-off.

    Margerie spoke against western sanctions imposed on Russia in his last public address made before the Vnukovo crash.

    In November, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the joint projects between Russia and Total can undoubtedly influence European and global energy.

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    France, oil prices, sanctions, Total, Russia
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