At yesterday's board meeting of Rosneft, a Russian oil major, Igor Sechin, deputy head of the presidential administration, was elected chairman of the board. Until recently, such senior officials, writes Kommersant, have only headed state monopolies, such as national power grid Unified Energy Systems and Gazprom.
The business community took this appointment as the first step towards creating a state-run fuel and energy company, which is to define future ground rules on a key market in Russia's economy.
Stanislav Belkovsky, the head of the Institute of National Strategy, told Kommersant that the new appointment should not be seen as merely symbolic. "It is the first step towards forming a large-scale energy holding to include Rosneft and Gazprom," he said. Most experts interviewed by Kommersant concurred.