The worried silence of the oligarchs in front of Putin’s explanations on Ukraine

Of Fabrizio Dragosei

The Russian president has summoned the billionaires who matter most to reassure them: «It was an obligatory decisionthey simply didn’t leave us any other way out ”

There official version is that Russia is not afraid of sanctions
backed by its exports of gas and oil as well as its six hundred and forty billion dollar National Reserve Fund.

On Thursday, however, in the early winds of the war and in the face of the first European and American responses, Vladimir Putin hastened to summon him to the Kremlin oligarchs that matter more to reassure them: the country will succeed and in any case the state will be at the side of entrepreneurs.

In the big Ekaterininsky room where on Monday the members of the Security Council had had to approve the chief’s war decision on live TV, the oligarchs appeared on the school desks.

There were the executives of public enterprises placed there by Putin, from Gazprom to Rosneft, the two giants of gas and oil. Then the survivors of the Yeltsin era, those who had created their empires during what has been called the greatest robbery of the 20th century, the privatization of the Soviet industrial system.

The various Potanin, Aven, Kerimov, Mordashov, Alekperov. From the beginning of his rise to power, in the 2000s, the current lord of the Kremlin had summoned them for explain how things would go thereafter.

They would stop meddling in political matters, they should never have mentioned any opposition
And to him

In return they could have kept the assets they had seized with a little money: oil, aluminum, banks, and so on.

Only one hinted almost no and then ventured to pose as an opponent, even financing political groups opposed to Putin. He was the most powerful and richest of all but in a few hours he lost everything, including his freedom. Mikhail Khodorkovsky his Yukos, the largest post-Soviet oil company, was taken away. He ended up in prison for ten years and eventually had to promise to go into exile to get out of prison.

On Thursday there weren’t some of the more in the Kremlin faithful oligarchs, those who made their money solely thanks to Vladimir Vladimirovich.

Brothers Rotenberg, old friends, judo enthusiasts, lords of banks and building constructions, hit by the sanctions. Then Yurij Kovalchuk, Putin’s dacha companion and patron of Rossiya bank, which according to the president’s critics is, in reality, his bank. Absent as well Gennadi Timchenko, Putin’s colleague in his youth at the St. Petersburg City Council, Russia’s largest oil product broker. Also missing were former aluminum lord Deripaska and Chelsea football club patron Abramovich. All of these always do what the number one says.

The presents they looked seriously worried about the events.

And, on the other hand, they had a good reason.

According to the magazine’s calculations Forbes, in a single day, the major commodity companies lost 38 billion dollars
despite the high prices of oil and gas.

Of course, Putin did not expect problems from “his”: Alexei Miller, Putin’s deputy in St. Petersburg and simple government official later promoted to deputy minister and then catapulted to the helm of Gazprom; or Igor Sechin, also a colleague of the Municipality of St. Petersburg, arrived with Putin in Moscow in his administration and then put at the helm of Rosneft, which became an oil giant with the acquisition of the assets of the reprobate Khodorkovsky’s Yukos. Ditto for Vladimir Kiriyenkoson of Sergej, deputy head of Putin’s administration.

The president had to give some explanations to the others, to keep them calm. “She was an obligatory decisionthey simply did not leave us any other way out … I say it again, an obligatory measure … It was impossible to answer in any other way … All our attempts have led to zero, zero! ».

Everyone listened in religious silence and the only one who spoke was Aleksandr Shokhinspeaking, significantly, of the rules on cryptocurrencies – but only because his role as president of Confindustria made it necessary for him to do so. Then they exited neatly from the room.

In Putin’s Russia, the orders of the Chief are not discussed.


Here is the list of participants in the meeting with Putin, released by the Kremlin
Petr Olegovich Aven – Alfa Bank Banking Group and AlfaStrakhovanie JSC
Andrey Igorevich Akimov – Gazprombank JSC
Vagit Yusufovich Alekperov – PJSC LUKOIL
Oleg Valentinovich Belozyrov – JSC Russian Railways
Andrey Removich Bokarev – JSC Transmashholding
Alexander Semenovich Vinokurov – Magnit retail chain and Marathon Group
German Oskarovich Gref – PJSC Sberbank of Russia
Andrey Andreevich Guriev – PJSC PhosAgro
Alexander Valerievich Dyukov – Gazprom Neft PJSC
Vladimir Petrovich Evtushenkov – PJSC AFK System
Suleiman Abusaidovich Kerimov, Nafta Moscow
Vladimir Sergeevich Kirienko, VK
Sergey Anatolyevich Kogogin, PJSC KAMAZ
Dmitry Vladimirovich Konov – PJSC SIBUR Holding
Andrey Leonidovich Kostin – PJSC VTB Bank
Sergey Alexandrovich Kulikov – RUSNANO LLC
Alexey Evgenyevich Likhachev – State Atomic Energy Corporation “Rosatom” Dmitry Arkadievich Azepin – JSC UCC Uralchem
Andrey Igorevich Melnichenko – JSC SUEK
Alexey Borisovich Miller – PJSC Gazprom
Leonid Viktorovich Mikhelson – PJSC NOVATEK
Alexey Alexandrovich Mordashov – PJSC Severstal
Vadim Nikolaevich Moshkovich – Rusagro group of companies
Mikhail Eduardovich Oseevsky – PJSC Rostelecom
Mikhail Igorevich Poluboyarinov – PJSC Aeroflot Russian Airlines
Vladimir Olegovich Potanin – CJSC Holding Company Interros
Dmitry Alexandrovich Pumpyansky – PJSC Pipe Metallurgical Company
Vladimir Valerievich Rashevsky – PJSC «Evrokhim»
Andrey Valerievich Ryumin – PJSC Russian Grids
Igor Ivanovich Sechin – PJSC NK Rosneft
Nikolay Petrovich Tokarev – PJSC Transneft
Petr Mikhailovich Fradkov – PJSC Promsvyazbank
Tigran Oganesovich Khudaverdyan – Yandex
Alexander Nikolaevich Shokhin – Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs
Igor Ivanovich Shuvalov – VEB.RF
Alexander Alexandrovich Shulgin – OZON

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