Black gold costs a lot: if you have oil, you are the king. Russian oligarchs realized this long ago and they did their best to privatize oil deposits. We will not talk about the illegitimate side of it here, since hydrocarbon raw materials are the products of nature, so they cannot belong to certain people. This product belongs to the people and the people are entitled to get some money for its realization. This is a common thing in several countries, for example in Saudi Arabia or in Norway. A certain interest from each sold barrel is transferred to the social development over there. This is a dream that will never come true in Russia, because our oligarchs are greedy, and state oil companies (Rosneft, Slavneft, Zarubezhneft) do not differ much from them. Speaking about Slavneft: oligarchs became somehow sad after they divided oil, gas, coal and the like. They saved a lot of money, but it is not really possible to invest it in Russia. Oligarchs of course, know that money should bring money, they stumbled in the West, got back to Russia and faced a very interesting gift that the state prepared for them: the state decided to sell 20% of Slavneft’s shares.
This was something. Let’s start with the shareholders of this respectable company: the Russian Ministry for Property – 55.27% of shares, the Ministry for State Property of Belarus – 10.8%, the Russian Fund for Federal Property – 19.68%. The state announced it before that it was going to sell some shares of Slavneft, so it was not a big deal, but the elections in the republic of Ingushetia stirred it all up, when Khamzat Gutseriyev started running for presidency there. Khamzat Gutseriyev is Mikhail Gutseriyev’s brother, and the latter is the former president of Slavneft. Mikhail Gutseriyev was dismissed from his position in the beginning of April of this year, allegedly for funding his brother’s pre-election campaign (of, course he used the company’s money for that). The company cannot do without the president, so the new elections were set for May 13. It was not known, if was possible to hold a session of company’s shareholders. The district court of the city of Ufa decided to cancel the preparations to the meeting on April 29, but this decision was cancelled on May 8.
Another curious moment is connected with one of the candidacies, Yury Sukhanov – he is currently under examination, although his candidacy was recommended by the Ministry for Property, and approved by Russian Premier Mikhail Kasyanov.
The Central Directorate of Investigation of Moscow Internal Affairs department instituted criminal proceedings against two vice-presidents of the company Slavneft, Yury Sukhanov and Dmitry Perevalov for the fact of power abuse. As it was said, their actions were unveiled during the auditing check of the company, and it was found that they caused a huge material damage to the state, as the major shareholder of Slavneft.
The meeting of Slavneft’s shareholders took place today. Vice-President of the company, Andrey Shtorkh said that 89.4% of shareholders voted for Sukhanov’s candidacy. Shtorkh also advised that Yury Medvedev, the chairman of the Board of Directors of the company stated at the meeting that “the criminal proceedings, which were instituted against Yury Sukhanov, were the question of private character that did not have any connection with the meeting of shareholders.”
It is hard to say, who gained profit from Sukhanov’s appointment, the role of the Russian Premier Mikhail Kasyanov is not clear either. So is it a political fight, or just another occasion of the distribution of property?
Scandals around the company show negative influence on its image, which threatens with a considerable reduction of the cost of the shareholding that is going to be sold by the state. Maybe someone wants to get it cheap, but there are a lot of variants really.
Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov