This is a continuation in our serialization of the second part of the White Paper by Boris Nemtsov. Part II deals exclusively with the Gazprom fuel monopoly. Section 1 was published on Friday. This is Section 2, all new material exclusive to La Russophobe which has never before appeared in English.
by Boris Nemtsov and Vladimir Frolov
Translated from the Russian by Dave Essel
Gazprom Machinations: Asset Stripping
Instead of concentrating on Gazprom’s core responsibilities of ensuring the reliability of the country’s gas supplies and developing extraction, Putin and the management team he put in place have concentrated their efforts on assorted dodges and machinations to engender a new wave of asset stripping and outflow of finances from the corporation in favour of bodies close to Putin and his friends.
Initially, Putin was very keen for Gazprom to accumulate assets that had been taken out of the corporation and placed under outside concerns under Rem Vyakhirev. This included quantities of Gazprom’s own shares and the assets of Sibur, a petrochemical concern.
However, once most of the assets had been brought back under the corporation’s umbrella, the opposite began to happen and assets – in the majority of cases the selfsame assets that had been reacquired – again began to be leveraged away from Gazprom. Putin’s re-election to a second term marked the turning point.