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Gazprom leaks cause explosion


Controlling the board of Russia's state-owned gas monopoly, Gazprom, is not enough to give the Kremlin control of the company.

When Gazprom's new CEO, Alexei Miller, actually tried to make some changes last month that would undo some of the mess the old management made, he found himself attacked by the old guard and rumours started flying that he had been forced to resign. They turned out not to be true, but the whole episode shows how hard it is going to be for the Kremlin to push through the radical restructuring that Gazprom needs.

When the first two board meetings under the new regime were held, Miller was lying in bed sick with a cold so deputy CEO Pytor Rodionov was sent to push through two key measures on October 29.

Gazprom's old guard had been pressing for the company to allow Sibur, an important petrochemicals plant and gas refinery, to go ahead with a rights issue that would have meant that Gazprom's stake was significantly reduced. The old management is believed to control the company through affiliates and would increase their control over Sibur if the new shares were issued.

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