Putin’s friend may join Rosneft board

Matthias Warning, an old friend of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, may join the board of directors of oil giant Rosneft as an independent member, Kommersant business daily quoted government sources as saying on Thursday.

Warning is a former officer of the Stasi, East Germany’s Ministry for State Security, and is known to be Putin’s friend since the late 1980s when Putin worked as a KGB officer in East Germany. Currently, Warning is a managing director of the Nord Stream pipeline, a project led by Russia’s gas giant Gazprom, and member of the supervisory board of Russia’s second largest bank VTB.

Warning will replace the head of the Federal Property Management Agency, Yury Petrov, on the Rosneft board following a recent initiative by President Dmitry Medvedev to remove government officials from the boards of state-run companies. Putin signed the order to replace Petrov with Warning on April 14, two government sources told Kommersant.

Earlier in April, Rosneft shareholders approved the replacement of Igor Sechin, another Putin’s close ally, with Sergei Shishin, VTB bank senior vice president. Sechin, who has supported a now-frozen $16 billion share swap and shelf exploration deal between Rosneft and BP, is known as Russia’s energy tsar as he is responsible the country’s huge energy sector.

MOSCOW, April 28 (RIA Novosti)

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