Charge Kiriyenko with money: deputy head of the AP wooed to rest | Latest news The Moscow Post
30 November 2023

"Charge" Kiriyenko with money: deputy head of the AP "wooed" to rest

Vladimir Potanin, Igor Shuvalov and Nikolai Buinov will provide Sergei Kiriyenko with a comfortable old age?

Rosatom State Corporation and MMC Norilsk Nickel announced plans for joint lithium production at the country's largest Kolmozerskoye field in the Murmansk region. In this regard, it is interesting that the license for the development of the field has not even been put up for auction. Nevertheless, the companies have already indicated their interest - it is highly likely that the competition will be held "for show."

Lithium is one of the most valuable chemical elements, extremely necessary for the production of smartphones, computers, batteries. Under Western sanctions, this is a real gold mine for the Russian market and the IT industry.

As for the story around lithium mining near Murmansk, it builds ambiguous and can affect the interests of not only the head of Norilsk Nickel Vladimir Potanin, but also one of the richest people in the region, Nikolai Buinov. But first of all, the deputy head of the Presidential Administration, Sergei Kiriyenko (it is believed that he retains the control levers of Rosatom) and the head of the VEB.RF, Igor Shuvalov. The Moscow Post correspondent in the Murmansk region understood the details.

Through lithium - to Rosatom

In 2021, Irkutsk Oil Company (INC) Nikolai Buinov showed interest in lithium production in the Irkutsk region. The question immediately arises - and to whom to sell the product? As you know, demand gives rise to supply, and not vice versa, so Buinov probably already knew where to direct the flows when he gave the go-ahead to Sergei Donsky, a member of the company's board of directors, to announce the plans.

By the way, Donskoy is the former Minister of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation. The presence of such a frame in the structure of the company allows us to reasonably believe that Buinov was going to cooperate with state-owned companies. And true, immediately after the announcement, rumors spread that several state-owned companies, including Rosatom, want Buinov's lithium.

Back in September 2021, shortly before INC openly showed interest in lithium production, the state corporation opened a plant for the production of lithium-ion cells and energy storage systems in the Kaliningrad region. It is known that she can still be significantly influenced by Kiriyenko, her former CEO, whose people work in senior positions in the company.

Recently, the corporation was shaken by another scandal - it turned out that its subsidiary FSUE Federal Environmental Operator (FEO) not so long ago accepted documents from Ekva LLC to eliminate the consequences of environmental damage caused by the Baikal Pulp and Paper Mill. And all would be fine, only the documents were an absolute copy of those previously used when working at another facility. At the same time, the FEO, which hired the subcontractor, received the money under the contract in full.

By all indications, Ekva was a one-day company and could be associated with Kiriyenko himself through his ex-adviser Vladimir Grachev - earlier we covered this story in detail.

"Shuvalovsky Forest"

What does Shuvalov have to do with it? The head of the VEB.RF trusts the management of his assets to Sergei Kotlyarenko, who, in turn, is indirectly connected with the Rosatom subsidiary of Rusat Greenway JSC. The corporation recently announced plans to build the first plant for the processing of used batteries in the Nizhny Novgorod region, construction in a row is entrusted to Rusatom Greenway. Lithium is also needed for the enterprise's activities, so everything adds up.

Although the founders of the office are hidden, Nadezhda Gavrilova is indicated as the general director. From 2015 to 2020, she headed Citymatik - Nizhny Novgorod JSC, a subsidiary of Citymatik, owned by Sergei Kotlyarenko. It turns out that Buinov's interests can echo those of Mr. Shuvalov.

It is also interesting that the only customer for state contracts of Rusatom Greenway JSC is the previously mentioned FEO. The parties concluded two contracts in the amount of 145 million rubles. In turn, the FEO, which is engaged in the treatment and disposal of hazardous waste, was established by Rosatom. The circle closed twice.


Shuvalov has recently been active - following a high-profile scandal with the theft of multimillion-dollar amounts allocated by the Ministry of Energy for the implementation of the State Information System of the Fuel and Energy Complex (GIS TEK), the department began to "push" a "novelty" - almost a clone of the GIS TEK "National Energy Platform" (NEP). The cell has opened and now Shuvalov is apparently ready to "fit" into this "feeder."

As it turned out, Kirill Shamalov, associated with Kotlyarenko through KDS Invest, can apply for participation in the project. Whether to expect from this tandem of efficiency or repetition of the story with the previous project is an open question...

Everyone is in plus

In turn, the president of Norilsk Nickel Potanin a few years ago could begin to look in the direction of lithium production: in 2020, the associated fund Whinter Capital invested €50 million in Denis Sverlov's startup for the production of electric vehicles. And to create powerful batteries, again, you need lithium, in large quantities. Agree, it is much more profitable to produce it yourself than to buy it from someone on the side. Surely Potanin thought about it too.

Moreover, the former first deputy chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation (was in Potanin's biography and this) has long been engaged in business in the energy sector. By the way, even when he was in the Donskoy civil service, he supported Potanin in his dispute with Musa Bazhaev over the license for the southern part of the Norilsk-1 copper-nickel deposit.

At first, Bazhaev had it, but in the end Potanin got it, and, as they say, not that everything was completely legal. So, the businessman, apparently, knows his own business and Donskoy, he also needs nearby for sure not just like that, but to perform the same functions as a dozen flax back - the connections remained.

So even when Rosatom had just begun to gradually show interest in lithium mining, The Moscow Post suggested that Potanin was also not indifferent to this topic, however, most likely, Shuvalov and Kiriyenko would "eat" him. But no - apparently the strong of this world managed to agree. The role could be played by Kiriyenko's possible desire to retire after his longtime colleague Anatoly Chubais. His nominal exit from the leadership of Rusnano could be the first bell.

And here it would be good to remember when the latter left political activity at Rusnano, he stated that he would finally be able to do his favorite thing - perform managerial duties.

After that, under his leadership, the company reached a pre-default state (a good manager!), And recently resigned and left Russia. Approximately the same can now be expected from Kiriyenko, who, apparently, will be financed by Shuvalov, while the actively developing business, Mr. Potanin and Buinov, will be engaged in business, possibly as a junior partner.

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