Norwegian energy giant Equinor said it will start the process of exiting the company’s joint-ventures in Russia, amid the Ukraine invasion.

The company said in a statement on Monday that in addition to exiting its operations in Russia, it “has decided to stop new investments" into the country.

The company is the second European oil and gas producer to exit Russia after supermajor BP announced its exit on Sunday.

The decision by Equinor and BP to exit the Russian market is seen as crucial to western countries' efforts to further isolate Russia from the global economy.

Anders Opedal, the chief executive of Equinor, said the company is “deeply troubled by the invasion of Ukraine, which represents a terrible setback for the world,” and is “thinking of all those who are suffering because of the military action.”

“We will now stop new investments into our Russian business, and we will start the process of exiting our joint ventures in a manner that is consistent with our values,” he noted.

Equinor has been in Russia for over three decades and entered a cooperation agreement with Rosneft in 2012, the company noted.

Equinor's cooperation with Rosneft includes the heavy oil and gas field North Komsomolskoye in West Siberia and the North Danilovsky development in Eastern Siberia.

The company’s net production in Russia stood at 25,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, and the company has 70 employees in Russia, according to its website.

At the end of 2021, Equinor had $1.2 billion in non-current assets in Russia, it said.

“We expect that the decision to start the process of exiting joint ventures in Russia will impact the book value of Equinor’s Russian assets and lead to impairments,” the company added.

The company said it will “present a commitment to contribute funding to the humanitarian effort in the region.”

The Norwegian giant said it has operated in compliance with Norwegian, European Union and US sanctions.

“Equinor maintains close contact with the authorities in Norway, the EU, the US, and other countries, and will continue to comply with any new sanctions relevant to our operations,” it noted.