Special forces raided BP's offices in Moscow on Wednesday looking for documents containing words like "Arctic" and "oil." The unexpected visit is linked to an ongoing lawsuit with shareholders in Siberia over money lost in BP's failed deal with Russia's state-owned oil company Rosneft to drill in the Arctic. One shareholder's lawyer told The Guardian that the raid came in response to BP's failure to deliver documents related to their $2.75 million compensation claim to court. However, the black-clad commandos carried assault rifles and roughed up the staff a little bit. BP condemned the raid, saying that Russian authorities had no legitimate grounds for such an aggressive move. "Did they expect to meet any resistance here?" wondered BP's Russian spokesman.
The incident left everybody wondering if the police presence might have more to do with Russia's new deal to allow Exxon to drill in Arctic instead of BP and Vladimir Putin's mounting campaign to reclaim the nation's top office. (That's Putin smiling next to Exxon president Rex Tillerson above.) Did the Russians really grab headlines in order to find some missing documents for a lawsuit in an obscure Siberian court? Or are they trying to send a message to the American oil industry? Here's a look at the analysis out in today's papers.