BP's newly appointed Chief Executive Bob Dudley and outgoing CEO Tony Hayward will meet Russia's top energy official, Igor Sechin, for discussions in Moscow this week, Sechin's spokesman said on Monday.

Warm ties with Moscow are seen as key for BP -- Russia accounts for a quarter of its global oil output, as well as being home to several cash-rich energy giants capable of taking part in the British company's $30 billion asset sale to cover costs related to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

BP's spokesman said the BP executives would travel to Russia this week to meet shareholders in its Russian joint venture TNK-BP and top government officials but declined to elaborate on their exact schedule.

Dudley is the former CEO of TNK-BP, in which BP has a 50 percent stake. This week's visit is his first to Russia since he had to leave the country in 2008 amid BP's dispute with its billionaire partners in the TNK-BP venture.

BP accused its partners of using connections with Russian authorities to win the upper hand in the dispute, which has since been resolved.

TNK-BP's Russian co-owners and Sechin, a deputy prime minister, have welcomed Dudley's appointment.

TNK-BP said on Thursday it is considering buying BP's Venezuelan assets [ID:nLDE66Q0Q2].

Hayward traveled to Moscow in June, meeting Sechin and Vagit Alekperov, head of Russia's No. 2 oil producer, LUKOIL .

LUKOIL's spokesman declined to comment on whether Dudley and Hayward would meet the company again, but a LUKOIL source said that Alekperov would be on vacation until September.

Russia's top oil firm Rosneft -- in which BP has a minor stake -- also declined to say to if the BP executives would be meeting its representatives.

(Reporting by Katya Golubkova; Writing by Jessica Bachman; Editing by Michael Shields)