Putin Bails Out

Hero journalist Yulia Latynina, writing in the Moscow Times:

Some of Russia’s largest and fattest rats are starting to flee the country’s sinking ship. Take, for example, Rosneft, which signed an agreement in January to exchange shares with BP, or Novatek, which sold 12 percent of its shares to the French company Total in February.

Given the individuals involved in these transactions and the fact that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was directly involved in both, the agreements look like an attempt by Russia’s ruling elite to create a financial cushion in the event that the Libyan or Egyptian scenario plays out in Russia.

The BP-Rosneft stock swap was initiated by Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin. According to BP CEO Robert Dudley, Sechin is considered to be Putin’s direct representative in the oil business, effectively making him the most powerful person in Russia after Putin.

Under the agreement, 5 percent of BP shares will be exchanged for about 9.5 percent of Rosneft shares, with the overall transaction valued at $7.8 billion.

This stands in stark contrast to the times when Shell, Mitsui and Mitsubishi were stripped of their controlling shares of the Sakhalin-2 project in 2006, and Dudley, then head of TNK-BP, was forced to leave Russia after his work visa was not extended in 2008.

The Novatek agreement was signed on March 3 in Novo-Ogaryovo with Putin personally blessing the deal. According to official reports, Total will acquire 12 percent of Novatek, the second-largest gas producer in Russia, from its CEO and largest shareholder, Leonid Mikhelson, and co-owner Gennady Timchenko.

The huge figures involved in this deal are especially noteworthy. In fact, on Dec. 20, Gazprom sold Gazprombank a 9.4 percent stake in Novatek for 57.5 billion rubles ($2 billion). Only one day earlier, that stake was valued on the MICEX at 87 billion rubles, and it is now worth 101.3 billion rubles. The very next day, Dec. 21, Gazprombank resold those shares to Novatek. Now, with Putin looking on, Timchenko and Mikhelson resold several major share packets to Total for 30 percent more money than Gazprom received for the same shares.

Gazprom is run by Putin’s friend Alexei Miller, Gazprombank is owned by Putin’s friend Yury Kovalchuk, and yet another friend of Putin’s, Timchenko, is co-owner of Novatek. What we have is a complex, multistaged financial transaction in which individuals and companies with close ties to Putin flip billions of dollars worth of stocks and securities in murky, under-the-table schemes.

It seems that both the Rosneft-BP and Total-Novatek deals are designed to sell assets just in case Russia is next in line for a revolution.

It’s one thing when the rats run off the ship — even huge, fat ones. But when the captain and first mate are also bailing out — or at least calling over the captain of a foreign ship and starting to off-load all of their accumulated wealth — that is a sign the situation has indeed become very serious.

I predict that United Russia will easily secure 70 percent of the vote in the December State Duma elections. But I’m not sure the next Duma will be able to complete its term. It may very well be swept away by revolution.

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42 responses to “Putin Bails Out

  1. Kyril the Squirrel

    Its called an old boys network or frat pack.
    Get over it.
    If these poor would-be refugees do get turfed out, London still has a few football clubs going spare for investment. Ker-ching ker-ching!

  2. Most of Russian big companies operate from the Cypress and other exotic off shore places.
    Not a big news to me.

  3. rts

    “Cypress”?? where in the hell is that place? The only places I know of are in Queensland, Australia; and the Cypress genus of tree. None of which, for your limited information, are tax havens.

    Or do you mean the island of Cyprus in the Mediterranean Sea?

    Do tell, as I’m all ears!!

    • bohdan, this is so called perfect knowledge of english, russian style of genuses like rts, casarsasa, kleine schwaine and company…..

  4. Bohdan wrote: “The only places I know of are in Queensland, Australia

    You should get out more often. Start traveling. At first, visit Melbourne, then Perth. After that, try foreign travel, Bohdan. You may even become less ignorant if you do.

    • >> And to boot, several times around the world >>

      For being an Übermensch and a globetrotter, Bohdan is remarkably boring, unintelligent, and — most notably — extraordinarily narrow-minded. Seems as if he believes somehow Planet Earth is below him. If only!

      • The untermensh at it again?? Unbelievable the trash you dream up, dear simplton. Tell me, as I detect a strong ring of jealousy in the tone of – but remember jealousy is a curse – your articles. Never mind you being unemployed and on the ‘dole’ means you will never be a globetrotter, so get used to it, one day you will get over it – if ever!

        One only has to look at your latest quote “Seems as he believes somehow Planet Earth is below him. If only!” What a ridiculous statement to make. For your information simpleton the earth is always below all of us, well with the exception of miners, as to be below the earth means you have passed away, that is you are dead and buried! have you got that simple point clear or straight. Hence, do tell who is the one that is “extraordinarily narrow minded” – it can only be you little boy.

        Also, talking about “remarkably boring, unintelligent”, well you should know at first hand – just look at all your substandard propaganda articles. They are superb classics in that department.

  5. Maimuni,

    I know that like a true communist you cannot stop lying, you brain damaged baboon!! Next you’ll be telling me that you can fly high (sure, sure that is after another puff of your regular marijuana joint).

    For your information I have been to Melbourne several times, though only the once to beautiful Perth. And to boot, several times around the world.

    And what about ‘redneck’ you, ever got out of those olive groves in some dead end of Cyprus? I bet not.

    What’s that saying! once a liar always a damn liar. So keep lying ignoramus, you are succeeding extremely well at proving what a turkey you really are.

    • He was in Melbourne and even in Perth! What about Darwin, have you been there as well? Congratulations, dirty emigre from the middle of nowhere.

      • Well, well if it isn’t the foul mouthed, nyet Kultura, muskal.

        Tell me ‘darling’ pupsik, what happened, there is none of your normal filth coming out of your dirty little mouth? Surprise, surprise.What going senile, or is it the effects of the somogonka.

        About Darwin? yes! I’ve been there several times too! but that was not what your good buddy Maimuni asked when I replied to his childishly naive questions – so got that point straight lame brain or is that too hard to fathom. You ‘wanna’ know more about beautiful Australia, just ask me peasant I’ll set you on the ‘straight and narrow’.

        In answer to your last paragraph I’m positive that you’ll understand that it was hard to get out of the filthy uSSRr, the world’s largest concentration camp (GULAG to you), without being covered in some of its dirt. But at least I was able to wash this away once I reached freedom, though not like you who to this day is permeated in it completely. Furthermore, I agree with you totally that the current uSSr is “the middle of nowhere.” When in fact it can be the jewel of the east! though not under Putin’s and his evil cronies helmsman leadership.

        Your naivete in calling yourself “pupsik” is incredible, as this word is normally reserved for use in the endearment of a dear or loved one. But for you, you of all people, to use it is pure adulteration! what have you run out of aliases? Yes, yes I am aware that you communist stooges never, ever use your real names – only aliases by the dozen to hide your nefarious careers.

        Instead why don’t you call yourself either Stalin the II, or Beria the II, or even Putin the II in imitation of your beloved heroes. Now that will be an alias that you will be proud of, seriously think about it as it goes well with your mentality.

        • Bohdan wrote: “nyet Kultura, muskal.

          What you write, is total gibberish in Russian/Ukrainian. Instead of wasting time here, maybe you could learn some basic Ukrainian, Bohdan? You are a Ukrainian-Australian and yet you don’t know the simplest Ukrainian grammar.

          • Maimuni you are doing an excellent job showing what a brain damaged simpleton you really are and to add insult to injury you also excel at being an inveterate liar who just cannot stop lying. Your world is total and pure fabricated communist fantasy.

            Sadly though the stories you make up are of the cheap and worthless science fiction style, as too is your total ignorance between what is Russian and what is Ukrainian. But it’s alright brainless baboon, I expect that from you.

            Come to think of it, I bet a baboon is a lot more attractive when compared to you, and furthermore it has more brains to boot.

            • I assure you, Bohdan, that your feeble attempts at Russian/Ukrainian are totally ignorant. You phrase

              “Nyet Kultura, muskal

              is grammatically gibberish. The correct saying is:

              “Net kul’tury, moskal’” in Russian

              and

              “Nemae kul’tury, moskal’” in Ukrainian

              • It’s typical Russian ignorance to discourage foreigners from speaking the language. Rather than compliment foreigners and encourage them to speak Russian more, like the self-destructive dolt that you are you attack them and encourage Russian to fade further and further into obscurity, so that it can perish with the people of Russia themselves.

                Russian hatred of foreigners also leads them to be reluctant to speak foreign languages, and their paranoid egomania helps them to fear grammatical errors. The famous American Mark Twain, however, declared: “It’s a man with very little imagination who can only spell a word one way” and his character Huckleberry Finn is one of the most beloved figures in world literature, though he made dozens of grammatical errors on every page. America is a roaring, successful country, a world leader, while Russia remains a backwater, because of ignorant, short-sighted gibberish like you have written, and English is pummeling Russian into the ground in every corner of the world for the same reason.

                With friends like you, dolt, Russia needs no enemies.

                • Manfred Steifschwanz

                  Honestly, mon amour: Do you think Bohdan would take the slightest notice were he greeted with kindness? Bohdan’s in a permanent state of self-obsession and screaming anger. Pretty amusing fellow, isn’t he?

                  • Multiple Sclerosis (of the brain I suspect),

                    Your disease must be progressing. Sad, very sad for you. My condolences to you – though it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. LOL

                    Your type of “kindness” couldn’t be further from the truth, you know like your honesty, and is just another smoke screen for your blatant inveterate lying.

                    Similarly dolt, your unbelievable remark that I’m “in a permanent state of self-obsession and screaming anger” can only be treated with the contempt it so richly deserves. Listen carefully comrade, if that’s possible, I am not, never was and never will be in a temporary or permanent state of self-obsession! similarly I have never, ever screamed in my life. It is beyond my dignity to do so. Instead I leave that to a dolt like you, I know, because several of your substandard articles gave and left me with a strong impression that you were frothing at the mouth and screaming when you wrote them. You must realize that a person’s writing style bears their trademark and gives his (or hers) character away.

                    Again I say, do not blame me for your afflictions. I realize fully that you cannot help or control them. But then that is you, a classic lowdown communist, out of that dreadful and treacherous USSR mold.

                    • Bohdan, love: Please consult our charming little Pshek boy as he is indeed on a par with you in frothing at the mouth.

                      Sorry: You just cannot escape the fact that casasa, Maimonides, and myself rarely, if ever, descend to your levels of swearing-and-smearing. I guess you could say that the three of us share a sense of comfortable superiority over adversaries of your and mccusa’s stature.

                      It’s also very telling that a few lines from me always tend to elicit a lengthy, inflammatory response from you. Sometimes it seems as if you’re on that proverbial verge of collapse :-)

                • @LaRu

                  First of all, Mark Twain was making a joke. And second, only total idiots confuse the concept of grammar and the concept of spelling. Please confirm your embarrassment by deleting this comment.

                  • Only total idiots fail to realize that Huckleberry Finn is one of the greatest heroes in American literature, not a joke, and that Mark Twain loved him, as did the American people, because he spoke like they do, with plenty of errors of grammar and spelling.

                    Please prove that Twain thought one form of spelling was best, that he was making a joke with his statement and Huckleberry Finn. Can you?

                    Also, would you mind explaining why Russians translate Finn without his errors of grammar? Is it because under dictatorship there is only one way to think? Is that why Russia is such a failure?

                    Please confirm your total embarrassment to the human race with more such comments.

                    • Ostap Bender

                      LR wrote: “Please prove that Twain thought one form of spelling was best

                      U ar rayt: in ol khiz buks, Marck Tweyne dydnt spel wordz korektli.

                      LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS:

                      Thanks for confirming you can’t point to ANY source that establishes Twain believed misspelling is bad.

                      It’s clear you haven’t even read Twain in English, or you would know Huckleberry Finn is FULL of the worst possible errors in English language, in fact that was part of the POINT of it, what makes is so great. He thought the real speech of real Americans was awesome, and so do we. Americans break rules and make great discoveries, while Russians worship rules and lie in a pathetic backwards state of misery.

                      Huckleberry Finn begins like this: “You don’t know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; but that ain’t no matter.” That’s three whopping errors in just the first sentence, and Finn is one of the greatest heroes of American literature.

                      Think about it, creep.

                    • Just a small remark…In-fact, most part of the last generation of Americans have no any idea who is, bloody, Samuel Clemens was…and what is that he was & is the Greatest writer of US. Unfortunatelly, Mark Twain is widely known outside US ! Even heated by you russians know Mark Twain better than americans.
                      And (!),for you personally: Naming him “Twain”, you show own illiteracy on the matter ))) this pen name can not be shares for pieces. Or…you are not an american, naturally.

                    • Ostap Bender

                      @Aborigenus:

                      Since this humourless creature doesn’t know that Mark Twain was a humorist and doesn’t know that Mark Twain wrote many books in addition to “Huck Finn” and use perfect grammar and spelling in all of them, you should explain to her in more detail why it is ignorant to say “Twain” instead of “Mark Twain”. You see, Kim, “Mark Twain” is a pseudonym:

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Twain

                      Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910),[1] better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist… He also states that “Mark Twain” was the call made when the boat was in safe water – two fathoms… His grave is marked by a 12-foot (i.e., two fathoms, or “mark twain”) monument.
                      —————————

                      So, calling Mark Twain simply “Twain” is like calling Nicolas the Second simply “Second”.

  6. LR wrote: “The famous American Mark Twain, however, declared: “It’s a man with very little imagination who can only spell a word one way”

    No, he didn’t, you ignorant cow:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikiquote:Mark_Twain

    Unsourced/ Possible Fakes

    Twain is one of those major iconic figures to whom many statements become attributed; unsourced attributions to him should usually be treated with some skepticism, and often a great deal of it.

    “I don’t give a damn for a man that can only spell a word one way.”

    Although attributed to Twain as early as 1875, the earliest appearances of this joke, in 1855, are not from Twain. This quote does not appear in his writing and there is no specific evidence that Twain ever said it. For more information, see Quotation Investigator.

    Also, would you mind explaining why Russians translate Finn without his errors of grammar? Is it because under dictatorship there is only one way to think? Is that why Russia is such a failure?

    Who told you that “Russians translate Finn without his errors of grammar”?

    LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS:

    You haven’t proved Twain didn’t say it, just that somebody couldn’t find proof he did.

    What’s more, you ignore the point: Twain LOVED broken English. He WORSHIPPED it and created what has been called the “immortal vernacular” of Finn to lionize it. And most Americans feel the same way, that is why Finn is beloved. If you speak English to Americans without making their errors, you are immeidately marked as a foreigner and do not speak American English fluently. Hardly surprising that those who can’t don’t get too far dealing with Americans.

    Please link to a Russian translation of Finn that contains errors in Russian grammar (not informal speech, but gross errors of grammar).

    Who told you they didn’t? Ever read it?

  7. You haven’t proved Twain didn’t say it, just that somebody couldn’t find proof he did.

    You haven’t proved that your doctor didn’t say that you are mentally handicapped, just that somebody couldn’t find proof he did. Prove to me that no doctor diagnosed you with severe mental retardation.

    • Thats a bit rich coming from a reject such as yourself Gostapo.

      After all, your defense of Russian crimes against humanity certainly puts you in the retarded Russian ultra camp.

      And you are very camp.

      • Android,

        You are a liar, a kook and a troll. Get lost.

        • Really, well SWP agrees with me, lets see what he has to say about you….

          And I know you are confused, and that it is probably futile to even attempt to point out the difference to you, but despising Putin and the rent seeking thugs that rule Russia is a very different thing than attacking Russia, Russians, and/or Russian culture. If Putinism is your idea of Russian culture–well, that says far more about you and your real opinion of Russian culture than about me and mine. When, in fact, have I attacked or baited Russian culture, where that term is properly understood? Never. Period. Putin is not Russian culture. And thank God for that. It means that there is some hope.

          Re Obama. I think he’s taking the country on a fast ride to hell. You may disagree. It’s not a personal dislike. It’s an intellectually-based objection to his policies, foreign and domestic. No demons. No chips. Just calling it like I see it. You see it differently. Fine. Get your own blog. Like anybody would read it.

          I was not making myself happy re 142.9 was a demographic disaster. I didn’t even say it was a disaster. The post was by no means triumphal, celebratory, or disdainful. It reported a story, and asked for people to comment. The demographic situation is what it is. Are you going to suggest that it’s wonderful news? Indeed, your defensiveness suggests that you know how troubling it is.

          And that’s where I think you do no favors to Russia and Russians with your mindless boosterism. Any objective analysis of Russia reveals that it has serious problems, and that the demographic numbers and the related public health statistics are the most glaring evidence of that. I don’t point that out for perverse kicks. I point it out because it’s an important fact. If you really love Russia and Russians, your hair should be on fire trying to figure out why it’s happening and how to reverse it. But instead you just want to shriek at people that point it out, and show how Putinism is condemning the country to a slow death. That kind of attitude does no favors for those you claim to love.
          With friends like you, Russians need no enemies.

          http://streetwiseprofessor.com/?p=4935#comments

          And he could also add, that with citizens like you (if you are one) the USA needs no enemies….

          • Thank you, Android, for illustrating here that you are a kook and a troll. What do you plan next, out of desperation that I don’t take you seriously? To re-post the entire SWP blog here?

          • BTW, Android, how many work hours per day do you waste reading and replying to my posts and reading my discussions at SWP? Do you spend more time on me than doing your job? Or is this your job?

            • Manfred Steifschwanz

              Ostap: Let’s settle this not too difficult issue once and for all: The staff at LR is made up of three (3) hacks: Robert, Andrew, and — of course — the Chief Execrable Offal herself. They are exactly what they look; to wit, silly, vainglorious, and pathetic. During the Cold War, such miscreants seemed respectable, even mainstream. In those days, the powers that be were constantly saturating the Western public with LR’s kind of garbage — today, it is of very little use to Western imperialism, if at all. But, of course, some people just cannot catch up with society, I suppose.

              The remaining question amounts to who’s really running the show? Any corporate money involved here, Kim et al?

            • And another excellent analysis of Ostap Bender boy from SWP:

              @Always-on-a-bender: Get a clue. For once. Who in the Russian gov’t has an incentive to exaggerate the #s downwards? Nobody. Meaning that if there’s possibility of a deliberate distortion in the numbers, the direction would be obvious.

              Relatedly, if even the census #s show a decline, even if there is no deliberate distortion in the #s, the demographic picture is hardly encouraging.

              And re why discuss the results–well, it is a major issue, no? It is the most important long term issue for Russia, because it has so many implications–military, sociopolitical, you name it. So of course I’m going to write about it. And didn’t I ask for people to weigh in with data (as S/O did–but you didn’t. Surprise, surprise.)

              But the main reason I wrote the post is the sheer Skinnerian pleasure of triggering the conditioned response of you and your ilk. I mean I can play toreador anytime I want. The only dilemma is which cape to wave–the demographic cape, the Khodorkovsky cape, the Putin is a schmuck cape, and the best of all, the history cape.

              http://streetwiseprofessor.com/?p=4935#comment-80780

      • Andrew,

        You obviously hit the mark in your description of Ostap the BENDER of truth. He must have been frothing at the mouth when he replied to you.

        • Indeed, he is a foul little twister of facts.

          Take his belief that the USSR was a wonderful place where no harm ever came to anyone…..

          His belief it is OK to commit ethnic cleansing of non Slavs…

          That sort of thing.

        • Manfred Steifschwanz

          Sorry, Boredan: It’s the Russophobes who are frothing at the mouth. Any claims to the contrary simply elicit refined amusement on the part of sane people. Reverend Zigfeld’s and the Pshek’s writing styles come to mind immediately with your own not far behind them. Grow up, kid.

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