CHINA Thanks to Putin, China seizes oil from Tatarstan

The Siburom group has acquired the oil giant Taif. The main shareholders are Russian billionaire Leonid Mikhelson and oligarch Gennadiy Timchenko, one of Putin’s men. Siburom’s shares are not put on the market freely, but offered to privileged partners: several Chinese offshore companies. Earnings should double, “new jobs” and “new income” for the republic under the Ural Mountains.

Moscow (AsiaNews) – The oil giant Taif has been bought by the Siburom group, as part of a mind-boggling agreement that involves Russian state authorities, those of the Republic of Tatarstan and Chinese investors.

The news published yesterday caused a stir in the sector. Taif was launched in 1995, and the acronym indicates the union of local and American investors (Tataro-Amerikanskye Investitsii i Finansy). For many years, the group remained the symbol of the independence of the Tatar republic, located near the Ural Mountains, which did business with the whole world without passing through Moscow.

The main beneficiary of this colossal sale is the first president of Tatarstan, Mintimer Šaymiev, since 2010 “adviser” of the current president Rustam Minnikhanov. Šaymiev (on the right in the photo) had arranged his kinship in the main roles of the Taif, with relatives from the main oligarch families of the republic.

With the takeover of the oil company, Siburom becomes the main player in the Russian oil and gas processing market, even if we have to wait for the assessment of the Russian agency in the face of the monopolies, which should not oppose the agreement.

The main shareholder of Siburom is the Russian billionaire Leonid Mikhelson, and the second (with 17%) another oligarch, Gennadi Timčenko, one of Putin’s men who found himself under Western sanctions since 2014. The latter ceded the most of its property belonging to the son of Vladimir Putin. -brother-in-law, Nikolai Shaamalov, so that the Russian president can control colossal deals like the one concluded in the country of the Tatars.

The leaders of Taif received in return 15% of the shares of the newly sold group, and former president Šaymiev himself said he was enthusiastic about the deal, convinced that “the profits of the group will be doubled, and for us that means new jobs. and new revenue for the Republican budget”.

The problem is that Siburom’s shares are not marketed freely, as promised for several years, but are offered to privileged partners. The last director of Siburom who tried to market the shares of the group, Jakov Goldovskij, was arrested in 2002, at the dawn of the “vertical” Putin era.

The main buyers of the oil stocks are in fact several Chinese offshore companies, no information about which is disclosed either in the press or through financial channels. Thus, China also seizes Russian oil, without officially appearing to do so, after having generously rewarded Russian oligarchs and local power leaders.

Rose D. Jones