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Will Vladimir Putin Head "Gazprom" in 2008?

Will Vladimir Putin Head "Gazprom" in 2008?
05.06.2007

On Friday on the 1st of June a chairman of Editorial board of "FORUM.msk" Michael Deljagin took part in the program "Authority" with Evgeny Kiselyov, the joint project of broadcasting company RTVI and radio station "Echo of Moscow". In the program they discussed a question of further destiny of Vladimir Putin after 2008, after leaving the Kremlin.

Journalists of "Authority" assumed that Putin would head "Gazprom": it became tight to "Gazprom" in Moscow. The gas giant is going to transfer its affiliated companies to Petersburg. That is the reason for the construction of "Gazprom-city" there. For the last four years "Gazprom" got many actives, at that the majority is - non-core. The gas monopolist has become interested in oil and has bought "Sibneft", electric power industry - a large share of holding of RAO "Unified Energy System of Russia", mechanical engineering - and now it has some factories and even in press - TV channels "NTV", "TNT", newspaper "Izvestiya", publishing house "7 Days". Assets of "Gazprom" not having relation to the extraction of gas and oil are being estimated in 14 billions dollars. 40% of its staff work in the non-core daughter companies of "Gazprom".

According to Vladimir Milov - the president of Institute of Power Policy, non-core assets are interesting to "Gazprom" almost more than gas: "In aggregate for the last four years "Gazprom" has spent for these purchases of assets outside gas sector - in oil, in electric power industry, in petrochemistry, in mechanical engineering - more money than it has invested in development of gas extraction for a decade".

"Gazprom" is - a megacorporation and its head - the most influential businessman of Russia. Possibly, Vladimir Putin is preparing such an armchair to himself for 2008, Alexey Makarkin, the deputy director of the Center of political technologies considers: "Dmitry Anatolevich Medvedev, one of the probable candidates in successors is now the Chapter of board of directors of this company and consequently it will be organic and easy to carry out operation on leaving to "Gazprom". Two people will simply exchange places. Secondly, it is known that the core strategic decisions of "Gazprom" are being accepted by legislative authority in the Kremlin. Thirdly, "Gazprom" has seriously grown stronger at the present president".  

However, in 2005 Vladimir Putin declared that business is not interesting to him. But to come to "Gazprom" - does not mean to wallow in details of management of the company. "Gazprom" has two main heads: chairman of board of directors and chairman of board. Now these posts are borrowed by Dmitry Medvedev and Alexey Miller. Chairman of board is engaged in technical work, meanwhile strategic decisions in the Kremlin are being accepted with participation of chairman of board of directors. And if Putin will come to "Gazprom", he will be there not as tactic, but as policymaker. The post of the chairman of board of directors will allow him to stay in big policy. They will take into consideration both in the country and abroad with a person who has "energy suitcase" of Russia, Alexey Makarkin speaks: "He will not be businessman, he will not be manager, he will have an opportunity to combine a rank of chairman of board of directors with any other posts - party, public, state. Well and besides the chapter of board of directors of "Gazprom", certainly, is included into world entrepreneurial elite".

In its turn, according to Vladimir Milov, "Within literally two years three largest financial actives of "Gazprom" - these are insurance group "Sugaz", pension fund "Gazfond" with pension reserves under control of more than 6 billion dollars and "Gazprombank" which is the third largest bank of the country with actives of approzimately 35 billion dollars, if I am not mistaken - these three financial actives passed into a private property. They passed into the property of earlier small Petersburg bank "Russia", whose shareholders are the largest partners of Vladimir Putin, in particular, the chairman of board of directors and owner of approximately 38% of shares is well-known Jury Kovalchuk. This remarkable company of private persons is literally for two years has got in the property three largest financial actives of "Gazprom" which serve all its financial streams. Now, as a matter of fact, the profit of these financial structures which as they say, "sit" on money of "Gazprom", will be in properties of private shareholders of Petersburg bank "Russia", that is thus the third bank of the country serving "Gazprom" turned out to be in a personal property of people close to Putin's administration".

Among shareholders of bank "Russia" is - the president of RAO "Russian Railways" Vladimir Yakunin, Minister of Education Andrey Fursenko, Sergey Fursenko is - a chairman of "Lentransgaz" and, in addition, the brother of the minister, Jury Kovalchuk is - a chairman of board of directors of the bank, Victor Mjachin is - the head of investment company "Abros" belonging to bank "Russia". All of them are - from Petersburg foretime of Vladimir Putin. In 1992 together with Putin they created "Fund of Regional Development of St.-Petersburg", in 1994 - "Petersburg Fuel Company", in 1996 - organized near Saint-Petersburg in a village Solovjevka of Priosersky region wlite country house cooperative "Osero". During eight years of presidency Putin has translated large assets to them in submission. "Gazprom" is closely connected with bank "Russia". Bank "Russia" posesses control stock of shares of broadcasting companies "Ren-TV" and Broadcasting Company "Petersburg-5 Channel". The companies of group "Kinex" of Gennady Timchenko - the largest petrotrader of Russia, by estimations, more than thirds of all Russian oil export passes through his company, cooperate with it. "Surgutneftegaz" and "Severstal" work with bank "Russia'. The brother of chairman of board of directors of the bank Jury Kovalchuk - Michael heads Federal Science Center "Kurchatovsky Institute", interests of the groups are being stretched though it into atomic energy and atomic industry. Bank invests construction of hotels and health-resorts. One could only guess about other spheres of its interest. Why Putin could not head all this large structure - half state, half private, besides having such supreme name - "Russia". And thus de-facto to remain the most influential man of the country".

At the same time, Michael Deljagin doubted, if Putin would go to "Gazprom", go to business: "The most influential businessman in Russia is only the greatest milk cow. Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin didn't build this vertical of power so thoroughly which was built on all alive that exists today in Russia to become a milk cow, even very big and very productive".

In opinion of Deljagin, Putin's future post is - the chapter of the Constitutional court: "If to start from personal interests - a chairman of the Constitutional Court. A man personifies justice. The president can formally do something with him but in reality - no, because it means to attempt upon all prejudices about the right which still remained and to smear itself with a dirt finally. And, on the other hand, a chairman of the Constitutional Court can make the decision on every question. It's the same as with the public prosecutor. There was such a comrade Ustinov. Up to him nobody trusted that the State Office of Public Prosecutor can be a principal organ of economic and even political regulation of the country. A man is a decoration of a place. The constitutional Court differs from the State Office of Public Prosecutor in the only thing - it can't imprison people at once.

Well, if it will be clear that a such decision all the same will be made, other bodies will run about and to slave".
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