Surkov Welcomes Fursenko as Possible Skolkovo Supervisor

MOSCOW, May 16 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s former Deputy Prime Minister Vladislav Surkov welcomed reports that ex-minister Andrei Fursenko may be appointed to oversee the Skolkovo innovation hub for the presidential administration.

The Izvestia daily reported on Wednesday, citing an anonymous source in Skolkovo, that Fursenko, who served as Russia’s education minister in 2004-2008 and is now a presidential aide, will be the Kremlin’s supervisor of the Skolkovo project. Fursenko has been a member of Skolkovo’s board of trustees since June 2010.

Natalya Timakova, a spokeswoman for Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, said on Wednesday that the Skolkovo project “will remain under the government’s supervision.” She added that “Skolkovo’s permanent supervisor will be appointed at the level of deputy prime minister.”

The president of Russia’s Skolkovo Foundation, billionaire businessman Viktor Vekselberg, confirmed Fursenko’s appointment, saying it had already taken place.

Surkov said the news come as “a good reassuring signal, a signal that the project on the whole is supported by the president and that his administration takes Skolkovo under its wing.”

Prior to his resignation, Surkov was a member of the board of trustees for the Skolkovo’s coordinating body, the Skolkovo Foundation, and chairman of the board of trustees of the project’s university, the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology.

Surkov stepped down from his post of deputy prime minister a week ago. His resignation came amid a mounting crackdown by law enforcement agencies on the Skolkovo Foundation.

According to Izvestia, Fursenko’s appointment will be officially announced at the meeting of the presidential council for economic modernization and innovative development on May 17.


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