30 december 2011

Vladimir Putin meets with Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin

The prime minister and his deputy discussed the results of an audit conducted at state-funded energy companies to investigate their possible involvement in other commercial activity.

Transcript of the beginning of the meeting:

Vladimir Putin: Mr Sechin, about a week ago we discussed the development of energy production, electric energy in particular, at the Sayano-Shushenskaya Hydroelectric Power Station. I told you about the audit conducted by the Energy Ministry into some state-funded companies. The results show that many senior officials of these state-funded companies are also involved with commercial companies. In this context, I asked you to conduct an additional review and make personnel-related decisions if needed. You were asked to check if there was a conflict of interests, meaning that officials of state-funded companies should not use their position to conduct other commercial activity in the interests of private, generally speaking, family businesses. What are the results of the additional audit you were asked to conduct?

Igor Sechin: Mr Putin, the Ministry’s documents have been reviewed to find conflicts of interest. As a result, some company officials have decided to resign. Among them are Alexander Bobrov, Dmitry Gvozdev and Gennady Nikitin of the Federal Grid Company of Unified Energy System, Alexei Sannikov, Yevgeny Kryuchkov and Magomed Kaitov of MRSK Holding, Dmitry Ponomaryov of the Market Council and Yury Zhelyabovsky of the Non-Commercial Partnership of Guaranteeing Suppliers and Power Supply Companies. We will continue with the audit of the affiliated companies. We have the situation under control, Mr. Putin. We have also started inspecting other major infrastructure companies, such as Transneft…

Vladimir Putin: You can engage the law enforcement agencies if there are grounds for it.

Igor Sechin: Mr Putin, the Energy Ministry has already transferred materials to the law enforcement agencies and a number of criminal cases have been opened. 

Vladimir Putin: Good. I also asked you to pay attention to shady operations involving promissory notes. Let me also remind you that a number of our companies should be returned to the Russian jurisdiction.

Ior Sechin: Mr Putin, we are working on it. We have confirmed the active use of schemes involving promissory notes. The company that is developing the construction of the Boguchany HPP is registered in Cyprus. Naturally, we think that we need to re-register the infrastructure companies in Russia.

Vladimir Putin: It is clear that companies all over the world prefer to work in zones with a favourable tax regime, and such activity is not prohibited by Russian law. But we should direct our attention to all these processes and companies involved, especially those that develop large projects that influence the whole economy of the country. They should be made subject to Russian jurisdiction. I ask you to think and consult business leaders and your colleagues in the government to make our goals understandable for them and help everyone involved make appropriate decisions.

Igor Sechin: OK. I think the criteria are quite justified here because it is a question of the reliability of Russia’s energy system and energy supplies to our biggest consumers.

Vladimir Putin: Good.