MOSCOW, February 19 - RAPSI. Rosneft has appealed the court decision to dismiss the lawsuit filed by TNK-BP Holding minority shareholder Andrei Prokhorov to recover 288 billion rubles ($9.4 billion) from BP Russian Investment Limited (BPRI) and BP p.l.c., the court told RAPSI on Monday.

The Federal Commercial Court of the West Siberian District has set the hearing of the appeal for April 23.

Russias largest state oil company, Rosneft, has appealed the January 28 ruling of the Eighth Commercial Court of Appeals in Omsk, which dismissed the case after Prokhorov filed a motion on December 3, 2012 to withdraw the lawsuit. Attorney Dmitry Chepurenko has declined to give the reasons for his client's decision.

Konstantin Lukoyanov, the defendant's representative, told RAPSI that "BP has always believed that Prokhorovs lawsuit has no legal grounds." In his opinion, "the only possible outcome under any scenario is the dismissal of this absurd lawsuit."

Lukoyanov previously stated that the lawsuit was filed as part of a dispute between the main shareholders, who have since settled their conflict. As a result, "the initiators of the lawsuit see no sense in continuing litigation," he said.

Prokhorov claimed that the amount sought in the lawsuit was equal to the losses TNK-BP Holding incurred from the transaction which failed to take place between BP and Rosneft.

In January 2011, Rosneft and BP agreed on a share swap to allow them to explore in the Russian Arctic, in which the Russian company was to get 5% of BP's ordinary shares in exchange for 9.5% of Rosneft shares. But the transaction was blocked by the lawsuit initiated by AAR Consortium, which represents the interests of TNK-BP's Russian shareholders. In June 2011, negotiations on the transaction ceased.