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Friday, May 26, 2006

Shadow President Illarionov Dogs Putin's Every Step

La Russophobe's dream ticket for the Russian presidential "election" of 2008:

  • For President: Andrei Illarionov
  • For Prime Minister: Gary Kasparov
  • For First Deputy: Vladmir Ryzhkov
  • For Duma Speaker: Mikhail Kasyanov
The London Telegraph reports:

The former economic adviser to Russian president Vladimir Putin has warned that the planned flotation of state-owned oil giant Rosneft would see "the London Stock Exchange being used to distribute stolen assets".

Andrei Illarionov, who quit the Putin government last December in protest at the erosion of Russia's political and economic freedom, said potential investors should be aware of the risks of the proposed £5.4bn float. "This is a crime which will be investigated by a new government and reversed," he said in the latest salvo against the controversial initial public offering. His comments follow denunciations of the sale by investors including George Soros and Foreign & Colonial, which recently raised a warning flag over Russia's corporate governance practices. Rosneft's assets include Siberian oil explorer Yuganskneftegaz, responsible for 11pc of Russia's oil output and forcibly "acquired" by the Kremlin in December 2004 after the arrest of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the oligarch jailed last year for tax evasion. "We are dealing with a company with a very questionable history. We just don't know what happened," Mr Illarionov added.Speaking in London, he also questioned why Prime Minister Tony Blair had apparently left the door open to a mooted takeover of British Gas-owner Centrica by Gazprom, the Kremlin-controlled gas producer. "I'm puzzled. Many people have expressed concerns, but this is a very clear statement that it is ok for Centrica to be bought by a state-owned company. I do not hear anything similar from anyone else in Europe. "Are G8 members serious about defending the very cornerstones, defining values and institutions of Western civilisation or will they compromise and bow to the demands and caprices of the new energy tsars?" asked Mr Illarionov.


Anonymous said...

You are totally wrong - 2% Misha should have the PM seat again, perhaps he can get his usual kickback rate this time to the full 10%.

Keep up the good work - I don't recall a laughingstock that good.

La Russophobe said...

You are quite right! Russia is much better off being governed by a proud KGB spy!