Clarifying the line between Russians administration and business

After President Medvedev signed an order prohibiting ministers and top officials from boards of seventeen state controlled companies Business RT spoke with Evgeny Kasevin, Chairman of KIFIR Business Club, about the implications.

RT: What do you think Medvedev is trying to achieve by ordering top officials out of these companies?

EK:“Well I think later terms which are used – innovation, modernization – I think this is a great example of those.And this, I could say revolutionary, step on Medvedev’s part could be a good breakthrough for Russia, as a whole, and its economy, and of course the investment climate”

RT:Where do you see the biggest corporate overhaul to be happening – in what companies and what industries?

EK:“Well I think, obviously, the energy sector, will be probably primary, because this is the sector which Russia relies on more than any other sector, and we can start Rosneft, which is a very popular topic of discussion now.Rosneft is going to be probably the primary focus for this particular step.”

RT: Where does Sechin need to go?

EK: “Well that is a good question.I think we will all experience and enjoy this development – whether he will decide to stay within ministerial circles, or move to actually managing, or getting involved in managing, Rosneft, this is to be answered.But I think it can go anyway.”

RT: So there is a risk that some of these top officials will choose business over politics?

EK:Not necessarily.I don’t think that some of them actually have enough experience to run such grand large companies as Rosneft.If we take other countries for instance, yes the ex ministers the ex government officials could step into non executive roles.In Russia it is a different market, different culture, and different history.”

RT:So it is a step toward harmonizing with European standards?Do you think these people, like Sechin, will still remain influential in the way business is run in companies like Rosneft?

EK:Probably for the time being they will be, of course; because the influence in Russia over such companies as Rosneft is quite tremendous.From people who are currently involved in ministerial and government positions.So it will take some time for them to actually step back, maybe and use their reputation and their experience, and their ability to remain within corporate structures.

RT: Well the final question here is who is going to be running Gazprom, Rosneft and other state companies?

EK:“Well, very good question.I think hopefully there will; become a day when a new generation of competent professionals will run those companies.For the time being they will be run as they are run now I think.In any case this step is refreshing and I think will result in great changes.”