Russian officials to leave top jobs at state firms

AP , Thursday 31 Mar 2011

In an effort to improve corporate governance, Russian government officials to step down from boards of state firms

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev gestures as he speaks during a meeting of his modernisation commission in the city of Magnitogorsk, Wednesday, (Reuters).

Russian officials say Cabinet ministers who represent the government on the boards of state-controlled companies will have to step down.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev made the announcement Wednesday, saying the change is needed to improve corporate governance at the companies.

On Thursday, his adviser, Arkady Dvorkovich, said those ministers will include Deputy Premier Igor Sechin. He is an ally of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's who serves as Russia's energy czar by chairing the board at OAO Rosneft.

For example, Sechin oversaw this month's deal between Rosneft, Russia's largest oil company, and BP.

Other officials ordered to leave the boards of state-run companies include Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin and Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko.

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