Minority shareholder of the second-largest Russian State Bank VTB Alexey Navalny visited an annual meeting of shareholders on June, 4 in a scandalous way as usually. By reliable report, he is hastily departing for the U.S. or might have already left Russia. Why? Have the managers of the State Bank persecuted him finally?
Navalny’s mind has been haunted by the VTB deal on acquisition of drilling rigs for a long time. However, being a minority shareholder of several large state-owned companies, he does take great interest in them. Navalny’s areas of expertise is truly unlimited - in addition to VTB, it includes such companies as Rosneft, Transneft, Gazpromneft, Gazprom, Surgutneftegaz. Navalny is not just interested, but he actively informs the publicity about his difficult thoughts, private investigations and suspicious facts. At the same time he owns only 2 (two) shares out of more than 7.000.000 in Transneft, and 2.500 shares of Surgutneftegaz out of 43,000,000. That is thousandths of one percent.
It looks like Navalny spends all his time to fight for financial transparency in the state-owned companies. But this is not true. Besides, who can live on the scandals only? He simply avoids mentioning his work in the PR-service of the Union of Right Forces (URF), when it was led by Nikita Belykh, as well as his work at the post of advisor to the Governor of the Kirovskaya region (Belykh, as well) - for example, about the URF money which disappeared in 2007; about ideas to improve the work of local enterprises, about the ways to support the initiatives of the governor; about his colleagues – the same advisors to the Governor – which are brought to trial one after another.
According to the media, in the middle of 2007, during the election campaign of the Party "Union of Right Forces" more then 99 million rubles was transferred to the account of OOO ”Allekt”, owned by Navalny , to manufacture items with the symbol of the party, as well as to pay for advertising space within of a four-month campaign of URF. The financial issue was in the focus of the Party's Congress after the defeat during the election. There were suspicions against Navalny, they sounded loudly, but was not enough argument to prove the embezzlement.
Following the appointment of Nikita Belykh as Governor of the Kirovskaya region Alexey Navalny became one of his advisers. When gaining so hated administrative resource, Navalny clearly decided to take advantage of it fully. According to media reports, in April 2010 in the Kirovskaya region was audited by the MIA and the FSB. In the course of their investigation it was found out that Alexey Navalny - Adviser to Governor, also a member of the Interdepartmental Commission for effective forest management in the Kirovskaya region (sounds great!) - together with the CEO of “Vyatka Forest Company" Petr Ofitserov made the Kirovskaya regional state unitary enterprise "Kirovles" change its schemes of work with the clients. "Vyatka Forest Company” entered into an agreement with the Federal State Unitary Enterprise "Kirovles" under which it simply became an intermediary in the sale of forest products. The identified loss of "Kirovles" was estimated at 1.3 million rubles.
In July 2009, Advisor to Governor Belykh, head of special programs of the Kirovskaya region Roman Shipov was detained. He was charged with fraud in a large scale. According to investigators, Shipov demanded from one of the Kirov companies 1.5 million rubles for the approval of a target program on development of forestry in the Kirov region which was conducted by a scientific institute. The funds were supposed to be transferred to the account of a non-profit organization (NPO) "Fund to support initiatives the governor of the Kirovskaya region”. Co-founder and head of the NPO is also our known minority shareholder, Alexey Navalny. In April 2010 another advisor to the Governor of the Kirovskaya region Andrey Votinov was brought to trial. According to the media, Votinov threatened the very "Kirovles" with global reform, which he was eager to fight for granting him $ 20 million.
Anyway, the law enforcement authorities in Russia are investigating the schemes of work of advisors to the Governor of the Kirovskaya region, while Alexey Navalny unexpectedly decided to raise the level of his education – not just anywhere, but in the U.S. "I was lucky enough to get into Yale World Fellows Program at Yale University. Therefore, I will spend the second half of 2010 in New Haven, Connecticut district of New England County”, Navalny writes in his online diary. Our hero does not specify what knowledge he is going to acquire in America. Most likely, he will learn financial transparency technologies in a corporation. But the knowledge of criminal law is much more important for him now - even if he never returns Russia.