December 29th, 2009

Igor Sechin – Russia’s New Decider?

In a recent Newsweek article, “Sechin Evolution into Reportedly Number Two Man in Russian Government Examined,” Vice Premier Igor Sechin is revealed to be the true power broker in the Russian White House, “the country’s main manager” and “expanding…spheres of influence.” Additionally, IHS Global Insight recently reported:

…that Deputy Prime Minister, Igor Sechin, has reminded investors that new amendments to the law on foreign investment in state–controlled strategic mineral fields are not designed to relinquish state control over the strategic assets but rather to offer an asset-swap to gain a foothold in Russia’s natural resources industry. Sechin’s comments are a stark reminder why the investors are wary of venturing into Russia in the first place. The Kremlin needs to do more to assure the foreign investors, already guarded by the infamous Yukos and BP nationalisation cases, that they will be offered fair compensation and will have a clear explanation of what constitutes strategically important resources. IHS Global Insight Daily Analysis, Russian Prime Minister Seeks Foreign Investors’ Advice to Improve Investment Law, by Lilit Gevorgyan, 23 December, 2009

Indeed, with Sechin as Russia’s Vice Premier for Industry and Energy, the risk of corporate raiding by government officials remains high and President Medvedev’s talk of ending legal nihilism, will be just that, talk.

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