MOSCOW, September 26 /ITAR-TASS/. Russian Minister of Economic Development Alexey Ulyukayev said on Friday he could not understand plans to re-nationalize the Bashneft oil company.
“The whole situation is unclear to me,” Ulyukayev told journalists on Friday after the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office confirmed it had filed a lawsuit to return Bashneft’s property to the state.
According to Marina Gridneva, the Prosecutor General’s Office spokesperson, prosecutors revealed that enterprises of Bashkortostan’s fuel and energy sector had been alienated with serious violations of Russian laws.
Rustem Khamitov, the head of the Republic of Bashkortostan, has voiced his full support for the prosecutors’ intention to restore state ownership of Bashkortostan’s fuel and energy enterprises.
In an interview with the Rossiya 24 TV news channel, Khamitov said the history of Bashneft going private was “extremely transparent”.
Bashneft, one of Russia’s largest producers of oil products which used to be called BashTek, went private in the 1990s. This enterprise, which used to be controlled by Bashkortostan till the late 1990s, had aroused many questions from the authorities.
The Russian Audit Chamber exposed a case of unprecedented plundering of assets of federal property during an audit in 2003.
On May 14, 2014, Bashneft’s major shareholders included AFK Sistema (a 63.16% stake in the authorized capital) and the closed joint-stock company ZAO Sistema-Invest (10.67%).
On October 9, the Moscow Court of Arbitration will consider the Prosecutor General’s Office lawsuit against AFK Sistema and Sistema Invest over violations of Russian legislation in the process of privatization of Bashkortostan’s fuel and energy sector.
Rustem Khamitov used straight and simple words to describe the situation. “The republic was cheated when Bashneft was privatized,” he said. “But we, the republic’s leaders, are very much interested in re-nationalizing Bashneft’s property to see justice done and restored,” Khamitov emphasized.