The late boss of Total Christophe de Margerie had a reputation for straight talking. If there was oil, his company would go after it.
In France, he was co-president of the Franco-Russian chamber of commerce and industry.
The organisation’s head noted that de Margerie kept saying we will never solve political issues if we don’t talk to each other.
“He was keen that dialogues between France, Russia and the international community were ongoing. This is something he fought for all the time. He said it to the French Government, he said it to the European Union, he said it to the Americans. This was something that was extremely important to him,” said Emmanuel Quidet.
In Russia, his position earned Total some of the biggest and most lucrative projects as well as huge popularity there.
Passionate about Russia and its people, de Margerie was openly critical of sanctions against the country and called on the West to abandon the measures.
The 63-year-old executive had been attending a meeting on foreign investment with around 30 other foreign executives at Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s country residence in Gorki near Moscow.
Christophe de Margerie died in the country he loved the most. President Vladimir Putin said that “Russia had lost a true friend.”