Thursday, May 6, 2010

Minority Shareholder Challenges Transneft Donations

Alexey Navalny, a minority shareholder of state-run Transneft, obtained a court decision on May 4, which held that the failure of the police to investigate Transneft’s charitable donations upon Navalny’s request was illegal. Transneft, 78 percent owned by the state, transports 93% of all oil extracted in Russia. In 2005-2008, Transneft spent $500 mln on “charitable donations” but refused to disclose the beneficiaries. Reportedly among the beneficiaries was the “Kremlin-9” foundation, which supports officers and veterans of the Federal Protective Service (FSO) (presidential bodyguards). Since 2008, the police repeatedly refused to institute criminal proceedings (on the grounds that Transneft does not answer their requests) and ultimately lost all of the documents related to the case. It now appears that the police will finally have to process Navalny’s request.

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