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Offering a challenge to Gazprom

A cooling in relations between Sergei Dubinin, former governor of the Russian central bank and now deputy chairman of Gazprom, and the EBRD lies behind the very public dispute between the bank and the management of Russia’s largest company.

       
Willem Buiter

A cooling in relations between Sergei Dubinin, former governor of the Russian central bank and now deputy chairman of Gazprom, and the EBRD lies behind the very public dispute between the bank and the management of Russia's largest company. The dispute, which concerns the transparency of Gazprom's management structure, has developed into a wider campaign to improve corporate governance among Russian companies.


The bank had high hopes that Dubinin, a long-time associate of the EBRD, could shift the Gazprom board towards greater openness. EBRD first vice-president Charles Frank says: "We took it as a very positive sign when he went to Gazprom because he's got a good reputation and we felt that he would be a positive force within the company, so we maintained that relationship. We want to develop a dialogue with these people".


These high hopes quickly led to discussion of the bank lending Gazprom $250 million, but this was conditional on Dubinin having his way and pushing through big changes.



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