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Rosneft Boss Sechin Sues Leading Russian Business Paper

Published: August 16, 2014 (Issue # 1824)

  • Sechin, 53, has worked with Putin since the 1990s. He was deputy head of the presidential administration from 1999 until 2008, when he was appointed deputy prime minister.
    Photo: Yekaterina Kuzmina / Vedomosti

Igor Sechin, the head of state-run gas giant Rosneft and a close ally of President Vladimir Putin, is suing Russia's leading business newspaper Vedomosti for "wrongful interference in government activity," Forbes Russia reported Friday.

Sechin took offense to an editorial that examined the possible reasons for and benefits of his transitioning from the government to his top Rosneft job in 2012.

The editorial implied that Sechin is able to unlawfully influence state officials while enjoying de-facto independence at Rosneft, where he allegedly answers to no one except Putin, the report said, citing the lawsuit.

The suit was filed just days after the article by Vedomosti deputy editor Kirill Kharatyan was published in mid-June, but the main hearing will only kick off next Wednesday.

Sechin wants three passages deleted from the article, Forbes said. It remains unclear whether he also wants to receive any financial compensation.

Last month, Sechin successfully sued Forbes Russia and daily newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda for calling him Russia's highest-grossing CEO and estimating his 2013 salary at $50 million, with the court ordering the newspapers retract the statements. Forbes has said that it is planning to appeal the decision.

Sechin, 53, has worked with Putin since the 1990s. He was deputy head of the presidential administration from 1999 until 2008, when he was appointed deputy prime minister.

The alleged leader of a conservative and isolationist faction in the Kremlin, Sechin has been nicknamed "Darth Vader" and Russia's "grey cardinal" in the Western press. He was the only Russian on Time magazine's 2013 list of the world's most influential people.

Rosneft, a target of recent U.S. and EU sanctions against Russia over its policy in Ukraine, asked the government this week for 1.5 trillion rubles ($41.7 billion) to help with the $54-billion debt it acquired by purchasing TNK-BP in 2013, Vedomosti reported, citing unidentified sources.



Saturday, Sept. 20

Starting on Sept. 18 and ending tomorrow is the Extreme Fantasy Wakeboarding Festival in Sunpark by Sredny Suzdalskoye lake in the Ozerki region of the city.

Those after something more laid back can instead head to Jazz and Wine night at TerraVino with legendary jazz guitarist Ildar Kazahanov. 12/14 Admiralteyskaya Emb.

Sunday, Sept. 21

Learn more about African culture and get some exercise during today’s “Djembe and Vuvuzela,” a bike ride starting in Palace Square that includes several stops where riders can listen to the music of Africa or watch short films about the continent. The riders plan to set off at 4 p.m. and all you need to join is a set of wheels.

Monday, Sept. 22

Do you love puppetry? If so, then be sure to go to BTK-Fest, a five-day festival that starts on Sept. 19 celebrating the art. Contemporaries from France, Belgium, the U.K. and other countries will join Russian artists to put on theatrical performances involving a variety of themes, materials and eras. Workshops and meetings are also scheduled for a chance to discuss the artistic medium in further depth.

Tuesday, Sept. 23

Marina Suhih, Director of the External Communications Department at Rostelecom North-West, and Yana Donskaya, HR Director for Northern Capital Gateway are just some of the confirmed participants of today’s round table discussion on “Interaction with Trade Unions” being hosted by SPIBA. Confirm your attendance with SPIBA by Sept. 22.

Kino Expo 2014, an international film industry convention, will be at LenExpo from today until Sept. 26. The third largest exhibition of film equipment in the world, the expo focuses on not only Russia but former Soviet republics as well.

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