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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Case “Renova”: why did you come to Vekselberg

He broke another major scandal in Russian business. At this time, the Investigative Committee of Russia (ICR) took in the sights of the company “Renova” — the biggest asset of one of the richest Russian businessmen Viktor Vekselberg.

photo: Dmitry Katerinov

Forbes estimates his fortune at $10.5 billion, is the 7th place in the country. In the company were searched. Was arrested the managing Director of “Renova” Yevhen olkhovyk and the General Director “daughters” “Renova” — the power company “T Plus” — Boris Vajnziher.

In addition, the former head of the “T Plus” and already the former General Director of “VimpelCom” Mikhail Slobodin announced the TFR involved in the case on bribery of the former leadership of the Republic of Komi.

However, experts interviewed by “MK”, believe that it is not just corruption. According to them, throughout the country currently is unjustified overstatement of tariffs, and to combat this abandoned TFR as FAS, apparently, unable to cope. However, it is possible that Vekselberg has other claims. For example, the SKOLKOVO Foundation, where he is President.

Experts of “MK” there are at least three versions of “mask show” in “Renove”:

1. Utilities. Victor Vekselberg Vladimir Putin complained to the new head of the Komi Sergei Gaplikov. According to him, the alleged heat supply of Vorkuta in the winter are under threat due to the fact that Vorkuta CHPP not modernizarea owners, that is “T Plus”. He resentfully said that the company management does not listen and does plans to sell the station from-for debts of consumers. “This irresponsibility must be stopped”, — responded the President.

After a few days the General Director of “T Plus” Boris Vainzikher said that the company has invested in the modernization of Vorkuta CHPP-2 more than 1.7 billion rubles. But this statement, apparently, was late. Especially before winter in the region remains nothing.

Note that trouble in Mikhail Prokhorov began with a similar case with the company “Quadra-power generation”. Consumers this company was dissatisfied with the high tariffs in several cities of Russia and the failure to provide an adequate level of services. Last winter, some froze to death in their apartments, and some, on the contrary, “roasted”, but at a price 2-3 times higher than before.

As experts underline, this situation is typical for all regions of Russia. The reason is very badly conducted by Anatoly Chubais, the reform of the power industry. Instead of a free market we have further monopolization and “broth” for corruption.

2. Corruption. In September last year, was arrested the former head of Komi Republic Vyacheslav Gaizer. As reported in the TFR, a criminal case on suspicion in bribery in especially large size.

But he was arrested a number of his subordinates. So, the main briber and the intermediary in the bribe were named Alexander Zarubin, who came to work in the “Renova” in 2003 as chief Advisor to the former head of Komi Republic Vladimir Torlopov. But in 2005 he left the company and became an independent businessman. However, according to the investigation, he was placed in administration Gayzer his people, that contributed to the flourishing of corruption.

A year ago on the case of corruption in Komi Republic took place on 19 people, including Zarubina.

On 5 September, this list has expanded. So, was arrested two senior employees of Renova Eugene Alder and Boris Vainzikher. The investigation suggests that they gave the leadership of the Komi money to set affordable tariffs. According to the SC, therefore the accounts of the officials of the region increased by at least 800 million rubles. In addition, another 100 million they received for permission to translate a 38% stake in OAO”Komi energy retail company in offshore.

As a result, the team Gayzer, according to the TFR, only energostrah enriched by almost 1 billion rubles.

Thus, we see that both versions are tightly intertwined: the bribes were given primarily for the assistance of officials in overestimate of tariffs for housing and communal services. Over the last 10 years they are known to be increased 2-3 times, and electricity — as much as 5 times.

Of course, a bribe of 1 billion rubles seems too big for one region. However, according to experts, the money for the inflated rates during this time were “repulsed.”

3. Vekselberg want to be punished for his own sins. Do you have any big businessman this “good” bulk. Vekselberg too rich — 7-e a place in rating Forbes. In addition, according to media reports, he received TNC, co-owner of which was in 2013, to $7 billion in cash. This money is now Vekselberg’s trying to buy the profitable assets from other entrepreneurs.

Thus, law enforcers may be given to understand Vekselberg that it is not necessary to go to another glade. They decide that someone who sell.

Besides, the TFR three years ago had a claim on his work in the Fund “SKOLKOVO”. Then talked about the fact that Vekselberg supposedly spend budget money ineffectively, but with its benefits.

It has even come to the point that RCDS filed a case against the former head of the Finance Department of the Fund “SKOLKOVO” Cyril Lugovtseva. He, according to investigators, illegally spent 24 million roubles. In General, there have been attempts to blame Vekselberg in a deliberate delay of budgetary funds on accounts of affiliated with his company of banks. As a result, we see significant progress in innovation “SKOLKOVO” did not show.

But in any case, no matter what version either was true, the power clearly gives to understand not only Vekselberg, but other big businessmen that the rules of game become tougher and now you need to do business, as ordered above.


Eugene Cartago, the Chairman of the Collegium of advocates “starinsky, Cartago and partners:

Of course, without analyzing the materials of the criminal case and seeing the evidence, it is impossible to say that the whole situation is far-fetched and the result has no information about the illegal actions of these entrepreneurs.

However, it is worrying it’s a strange coincidence: all of this started to happen at the very moment when the new head of the Komi Republic has complained to President Putin, Vekselberg and asked the President assist in the confrontation with the billionaire in pricing of electricity in the region.

(General Director of “VimpelCom”, now former, Mikhail Slobodin, previously worked in the same structure as olkhovyk, “KES Holding”. Yesterday, he resigned as head of “Vympelcom”, and the police had started looking for him in connection with the case “Renova”. Slobodin is abroad – “MK“).

Konstantin Simonov, Director of the national energy security Fund:

“I would like to believe that the system is sincere to fight corruption in all areas: we started with the Governor of the Komi Republic, opened its links, looked at the issue of tariffs… But the history of Russia previous twenty years persistently pushing for the idea that can take place and some economic interests. Very often this kind of operation, so-called “mask show” was held as part of the business pressure for the redistribution of ownership. So today we don’t take these stories with suspicion, our law enforcement agencies must prove that the second version is definitely incorrect, and all forces are directed specifically at the eradication of corruption. Unfortunately, we do not have the habit to think in this direction. I hope that in the near future will be the occasion to ensure that we are wrong. And then next time it will be possible to say unequivocally that there is a fight against corruption as a phenomenon, and not covered by someone’s interests. Until then no.

Nikita Isaev, the Director of the Institute of contemporary Economics:

“Most likely, criminal proceedings against subsidiaries of companies “Renova” – part of a campaign to purge the elites. Moreover, it is not about the upcoming parliamentary elections, the sight of this “cleansing” more to the presidential election. The process of changing governors is in full swing, the security forces and the Federal bodies of Executive power is also not left behind. Now it came to business giants. The arrest of the managing Director “Renova” Yevhen Olkhovyk and CEO of the subsidiary of “T Plus” Boris wainzinher for many can be a signal that it’s time to apply the new scheme works without billions of dollars in “kickbacks” and that we must be careful to choose the people with whom you communicate. It is unlikely that unreasonable overestimate of tariffs for electricity and heat economic ties between officials and business remained unnoticed for many years. Just before, in excess of oil revenues, in fact, such situation of all arranged, but now it is obvious that income soon will not be enough. So all this is now simply can not afford. Freezing of expenditure will lead to lower spending in real terms, which means further stagnation in the economy. Such extravagance now is unacceptable. As a variant of reform of relations between government and business – these are surgical strikes, showing the rest of the potential prospects. Another question – how do these sights and who novosady… But that’s another story.”

Anatoly Vakulenko, an analyst CC “FINAM”:

“Of course, the situation around the “T plus” suggests an analogy with the recent history around the company “Quadra-power generation”, included in holding “ONEXIM” Mikhail Prokhorov. In both cases we are talking about entities controlled by the largest oligarchs. In both cases, apparently, there are real difficulties with the heating regions. In both cases involved the security forces who carried out searches in the parent companies holdings, Oneksima” and “Renova”. In the case of “by” put forward the version that the main goal of the charges is an attempt to put pressure on Prokhorov to change the editorial policy of RBC. That has indirectly confirmed after the visit of the security forces in the publication under new leadership. So, of course, there is the temptation to interpret the events around the “T plus” as an attempt to put pressure on the owner of “Renova” Viktor Vekselberg on other matters connected with his business. However, it is not excluded that to bring to the public’s attention this high-profile case took both the regional and Federal authorities during the election period – the people love oligarchs “put in place”. In this regard, to say for sure which version is now the most reasonable, you need to see how events will develop after the election.”

Natalya Milchakova, Director of the analytical Department of Alpari:

“We believe that before the elections to the state Duma, the government and the ruling party, respectively, show in the illustrative example to voters that the fight against corruption is carried out effectively. So, apparently, decided not to be limited “a matter of Gaiser,” and to prosecute all defendants in this scandal. Any attempts to “squeeze” the business oligarchs, including billionaire Viktor Vekselberg, whose name resounded throughout the country in the 90-ies and the beginning of “zero”, not a speech.

Now to act by methods of 90-ies the government will not, especially in the twenty-first century have such ways of dealing with political or business opponents as information leakage, disclosure of secret offshore accounts, the publication of personal correspondence, etc. in addition, Vekselberg is not so powerful oligarch in the 90-ies”.


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