Moscow on the hunt for former European leaders: After Schroeder, Russian giants engage Fillon
Former French Prime Minister Francois Fillon has joined the board of Russia’s largest petrochemical producer Sibur, the company said.
Large Russian corporations frequently employ former high-ranking European politicians to utilise their ties and influence.
Ex-German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder is the chairman of the shareholders’ committee at Nord Stream’s operating company, while Russian energy giant Rosneft (ROSN.MM) earlier this year appointed former Austrian foreign minister Karin Kneissl to its board.
The Kremlin has said that Fillon, who served as premier under Nicolas Sarkozy from 2007-2012, has had “rather good relations” with President Vladimir Putin.
Privately owned Sibur is the largest petrochemicals producer in eastern Europe. It has long planned an initial public offering.
Its largest shareholders are Leonid Mikhelson, the head of, and a major stakeholder in, Russia’s largest liquefied natural gas producer Novatek (NVTK.MM), and businessman Gennady Timchenko, a close ally of Putin.
It is worth noting that after the end of his term, former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder joined the board of directors of GAZPROM. Russia, led by Putin, exploits its lucrative companies to corrupt as many European politicians as possible by hiring them.
After the end of their term, it is worth seeing how many other politicians from Europe will find themselves on these famous boards of Russian companies, in the coming weeks.