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Russia: Sechin on the Witness Stand: Ulyukayev Trial Revelations

The trial of former Minister of Economy Aleksei Ulyukayev that started in Moscow last week has revealed several illuminating details regarding Igor Sechin’s role in the case, with notable implications for the political resources at his disposal.
Ulyukayev was arrested last November when he was leaving Rosneft’s headquarters: prosecutors allege that he had $2mn in

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Russia: Power of Siberia: Gazprom Accepts Supply Deadline and Major Losses

In early June, Gazprom and CNPC signed an agreement specifying the start of gas deliveries through the Power of Siberia (PoS) pipeline. Gazprom has committed to launch the pipeline by 20 December 2019, about one year ahead of the deadline stipulated in the 2014 gas supply agreement between the two companies. The commitment was inked

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Russia: Opening the Black Box: Government Seeks Access to Rosneftegaz Accounts

The government has renewed efforts to access the accounts of Rosneftegaz, the state-owned company that holds government stakes in Gazprom, Rosneft and Inter RAO. Earlier this month, head of the government’s economy and finance department Vladimir Sidorenko issued a letter requesting that Rosneftegaz’s financial information is made available to the government.

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Russia: Sistema’s Plight: Sechin Returns to Bankrupt Yevtushenkov

On 6 June the Bashkortostan Arbitration Court held a preliminary hearing on Rosneft’s lawsuit against Sistema. The court accepted Rosneft’s new estimate of the damages it wishes to recover, which went up from $1.9bn in May to $3bn this month. The court’s willingness to accommodate Rosneft’s requests – for instance, to accept Sistema’s internal correspondence

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Russia: The Fox Guarding the Henhouse: Gazprom Deploys Rotenberg to Deter Novatek

On 24 May Gazprom Deputy CEO Vitaliy Markelov ruled out a partnership between Gazprom and Novatek to develop the Tambei group of fields. Gazprom controls several major gas fields in the cluster, which is located in the northeast of the Yamal peninsula and includes North-Tambeiskoye, West-Tambeiskoye, Malyginskoye and Tasiyskoye. In early May, Gazprom CEO Aleksei

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Russia: Dividend Squeeze: State-Owned Companies Defund the Government

At a press briefing during his visit to China on 15 May, Putin addressed the issue of dividend payments by state-owned firms. Last year, the government set these dividends at the rate of at least 50% of the firms’ net incomes. They can be calculated in accordance with the International Accounting Standards (IAS) or Russian

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Russia: Gazprom: Financial Dark Clouds, But Bright Political Outlook

Gazprom’s 2016 financial results reported last week have received positive media coverage, with the monopoly’s 20% increase in net profits making headlines. The picture behind the profit numbers, however, is not as rosy. As much as half of the profits is attributed to foreign exchange gains caused by the rouble’s appreciation in 2016. In the

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Russia: Putin and Regional Governors: Confusion Amid Arrests

On 13 April the FSB arrested Leonid Markelov, who had just resigned as the governor of Mari El Republic, an underdeveloped region in the Volga basin. Markelov, who was charged with corruption, will hardly be missed in the region. One of the country’s most eccentric governors, he made his mark building full-size copies of Venetian