×
Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

Medvedev Removes Sechin Ally From Key Oil Post

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Friday sacked a senior natural resources official, believed to be a close ally of Igor Sechin, the head of state oil firm Rosneft, in what analysts said was a sign of growing confrontation between the two men.

In an order published Friday, Medvedev dismissed Alexander Popov, the head of Rosnedra, an agency responsible for granting licenses to develop natural resources.

Popov was an aide to Sechin when Sechin oversaw the energy sector as deputy prime minister.

Sechin, a close ally of President Vladimir Putin, was last year appointed to head Rosneft, the world's largest publicly listed oil producer, majority-owned by the government.

Sechin's confrontation with Medvedev's team has grown since then as Sechin has embarked on an aggressive consolidation of assets under Rosneft's control. Medvedev's deputy for energy, Arkady Dvorkovich, has pushed for more privatization and less state interference in the strategic industry.

A more recent spat came over a decision by Rosnedra to award Rosneft and state gas major Gazprom licenses to tap oil and gas fields in the Arctic, which Dvorkovich has criticized.

"It is clear that the confrontation between Medvedev-Dvorkovich on one hand and Sechin on the other is growing, and all means may be used in that fight," political analyst Stanislav Belkovsky said of Popov's dismissal.

Medvedev's order said Popov was dismissed because his post was being eliminated. In a separate decree, Medvedev named Valery Pak as deputy minister of natural resources and the head of Rosnedra.

"Sechin still enjoys great political clout. This [change in Rosnedra] won't undermine his power," said Andrei Polishchuk, an analyst with Raiffeisenbank in Moscow.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Once
Monthly
Annual
Continue
paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more