BP's shareholders failure to attend the board meeting of its Russian venture, TNK-BP , sabotaging the arbitration process, a course close to a TNK-BP's Russian shareholder told Reuters on Friday.

BP's spokesman dismissed the suggestions that the company was seeking to delay the process, saying that arbitration is still planned for March 7.

Earlier on Friday, the board of TNK-BP, Russia's third-largest oil company, failed to convene a meeting to review the partnership between BP and Russia's top oil producer, Rosneft m as BP's members did not attend.

AAR had won an injunction to put the BP-Rosneft deal on hold at least until March 7.

The failure of the BP-nominated directors to show up for the TNK-BP board meeting... is disappointing, said the source close to one of the Russia-connected shareholders in the AAR consortium.

Having insisted that the arbitration should be accelerated, BP's actions now suggest they are seeking to delay, even sabotage the arbitration process, he said.

(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin in Moscow and Alex Lawler in London; editing by)