Trotsenko will "inspire" the Emirates
Instead of modernizing the crumbling regional airports of Russia, will Roman Trotsenko prefer to invest 80 billion rubles in the UAE air harbor?
Oligarch Roman Trotsenko first appeared in public after a wiretapping scandal in which a person with a voice similar to him spoke impartially about the current situation in the country. Trotsenko was seen at the forum "Russia - Islamic World: KazanForum," where he spoke as a representative of the Tatarstan Ammoniy JSC.
It is noteworthy that the first thing Trotsenko allegedly went to the stand of Indonesia, investments in which were discussed by people on the tape leaked to the Web. But another thing is more interesting: several sources from the forum said at once that Trotsenko could buy the airport in the emirate of Ras al-Khaimah, in which he is going to invest $1 billion.
If this is true, he and the residents of the UAE can only be congratulated. But what about the Russian airports that fell into Trotsenko's Novaport circuit - is he in no hurry to invest in them? It seems that Russia is only a field for him to earn money, to benefit the inhabitants of the emirates is much more pleasant to him than to his own compatriots.
Details - in the material of the correspondent of The Moscow Post in Tatarstan.
How a person similar in voice to Roman Trotsenko talks to, presumably, Nikolai Matushevsky (also an entrepreneur), the Russian public learned a few weeks ago.
On the tape, the interlocutors spoke impartially about the current situation in the country and talked about investments in Indonesia, where in 10 years everything should "grow tenfold," while here (in Russia) "fall twice." Previously, this story was described in detail by The Moscow Post.
Therefore, it is not surprising if Trotsenko really drew attention to Indonesia. It is clear and why he represented Ammoniy JSC: he bought this highly profitable enterprise from the Tatarstan authorities in 2020, promising to invest 12 billion rubles. The decision was easy: according to all calculations, this business will "fight off" within 10 years.
Emirates closer to Magadan
But whether Russian airports, of which Novaport Roman Trotsenko has several dozen in management, will "fight off" in the face of a decrease in the number of directions and a sharp drop in passenger traffic, is a big question. Therefore, it is much more pleasant to invest in airports in other countries.
For example, the airport of the emirate of Ras al-Khaimah. Moreover, a couple of years ago, Russia received direct flights with this emirate - the direction is very profitable. And in general, tourism there will grow at an explosive pace, because it is in this emirate that they are going to build the first casino in the UAE.
Trotsenko regularly visits forums and other events of the state in which, as it turned out, he may be uncomfortable doing business... Photo: https://fedpress.ru/article/2892708
Officially, no one has confirmed Trotsenko's deal at Ras al-Khaimah airport. And this is also understandable: in the context of the previous scandal, the news that the oligarch is going to invest about 80 billion rubles in the development of a foreign asset can be perceived as a betrayal of national interests at a difficult moment for the country.
However, according to the authors of the VChK-OGPU Telegram channel, everything has allegedly already been decided, the purchase has been completed, and an investment of $1 billion was a prerequisite for transferring the airport to the control of the Russian oligarch.
He earned this money in Russia. This means that he will take them to another country. And attempts to enter foreign airport markets have been made by him regularly for more than 10 years. Back in 2015, he was going to buy a controlling stake in the airport in the Italian city of Ancona, and then for a long time "knocked" the Moldovan authorities to buy Chisinau airport. Then it did not work out because of the pressure of Moldova's "Western partners."
And now it has all become much more complicated - Europe and the United States are closed to Russian business. But Asia and the Middle East - please! Not to invest in Russia.
It is equally important that the entire structure of the Novaport holding has been tied to offshore companies all these years. That is, profits from almost 20 airports in the country (including such large ones as Khrabrovo in Kaliningrad, Tolmachevo in Novosibirsk, Roshchino in Tyumen, etc.) could have gone beyond the hill before.
But not all Shrovetide cat. The sanctions war of Western countries against Russia pretty spoiled the oligarch's blood. And not only it, but also deoffshorization, which the President demanded from the country's big business. As a result, with great reluctance and only in May 2022, Trotsenko had to re-register his Ti.Es.Trans Saibiria Ko (owns Novaport Holding LLC) from Cyprus to a special administrative district on Oktyabrsky Island in the Kaliningrad region.
It seemed that now the money would remain in the country. But it was not here - Trotsenko prefers to invest them in other countries. But many airports of the Russian Federation could go to him, let's say, not the most transparent way.
FAScom for Novaport
Earlier, he aimed at one more - he really wanted to modernize the air harbor of the Irkutsk region. And he even managed to agree with the local authorities, which in those years were represented by the scandalous ex-governor Sergei Levchenko. The one whose son Andrei was later sentenced to nine years in a general regime colony in a fraud case.
Only now I received a hat from the FAS. The agency established that the choice of an investor for the construction of a new terminal was held with violations, without competitive procedures. And "Novaport" was taken away from him.
But this isn't enough! As follows from the message on the FAS website, he suspected AEON and Novaport of trying to impede the verification of the antimonopoly authority. As if they just turned off the servers with the information the controllers needed. I wonder if such a "feint" would have taken place against the authorities of Indonesia or the UAE? Or would such an investor be put out the door there at the moment (at best)?
Only control and supervisory authorities helped to divert Trotsenko from the Irkutsk airport. Photo: open sources
Of course, Mr. Trotsenko would not be himself if he walked on his own where you can walk on state. And another oligarch, Viktor Vekselberg, whose holding Airports of the Regions has long been a key competitor to Novaport, has had exactly the same approach.
And in 2021, against the background of the crisis phenomena of the pandemic, they suddenly decided to unite, and created a joint venture - "Airports of the big country" ("ABS"). The goal is to develop problematic airports, those who "lie on their side." Including, for example, Magadan Airport. And, of course, they immediately asked the state for support - not to modernize them on their own!
Among other things, Trotsenko sharply criticized the system of providing state subsidies for regional air routes. The principle is clear - invest more in my assets, it is useful. You develop the network, and at the same time fill my pockets.
In the current situation, such a position looks even more strange. In April 2023, it became known that the authorities of the Kemerovo region and the Novaport holding did not abandon attempts to obtain federal funds for the construction of a runway in the planned airport near the Sheregesh ski resort.
Once again, slowly: with one hand, oligarch Trotsenko begs billions from the treasury for a project that he himself must do, and which in the future will bring him huge profits. Another - can invest tens of billion rubles in an airport in the Emirates. And he doesn't press anything!
If you go back to those airports that have already been modernized, work and make a profit - and everything there is not thank God. In 2020, the ubiquitous FAS found Tolmachevo Airport in Novosibirsk (managed by Novaport) guilty of violating the Law on Protection of Competition when concluding state repair contracts with StroyCity LLC.
Violations were revealed by the regional transport prosecutor's office when concluding contracts, including for repairing an apron worth more than 87 million rubles and for repairing asphalt worth more than 8.4 million rubles. The total amount of non-competitive purchases, according to FAS estimates, exceeded 283 million rubles, and StroyCity's earnings, which competed with another company with the same name, could amount to about 1.2 billion rubles. This was reported by the website of the antimonopoly department.
I.e. the corruption component from the transition of the air harbor from the state under the wing of the oligarch has not gone anywhere, but has adopted new forms and new beneficiaries.
Tolmachevo Airport under Trotsenko also did not escape the claims of the FAS. Photo: http://www.provocator.org/byudzhetnye-krylya-trocenko/
This happens almost regularly, and sometimes concerns security issues - the cornerstone of any transport business. In 2018, the Tyumen airport "Roshchino" did not pass the prosecutor's office check for compliance with fire safety standards.
The airport did not provide feedback from the fire warning areas to the control room, the annual inspection of fire hoses was not carried out, individual storage and service rooms were not equipped with the necessary fire extinguishing systems. This is an egregious situation, as a result of which people could die. As a result, antitrust officers issued a ridiculous fine of 150 thousand rubles, and everyone forgot about it. RBC wrote about history.
Trotsenko and in addition to this, a lot of claims. The oligarch plays his game in other sectors of the economy. Buys and resells Petropavlovsk Group of Companies brought to the handle, shuffles other assets. And, according to evil tongues, allegedly quietly derives from the country what can be brought out without much noise.
Such a business at all times was called Comprador. And if your face is not very good, then what to nod at the mirror, i.e. at the state? However, in the UAE, Trotsenko still does not know anything about this side. But they will definitely find out...