The government approved the new composition of the board of directors of Russian Railways. As Kommersant had suggested, First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov was introduced into it, and Deputy Minister of Economics Mikhail Rasstrigin and the head of the Skolkovo Fund Arkady Dvorkovich left him. Now the council has two deputy prime ministers, two ministers and three deputy ministers. According to analysts, the presence of top-level officials in significant quantities is now beneficial for Russian Railways: this increases the chances that the government, and especially in its financial and economic block, planning to seize large dividends from the monopoly, will hear its management position.
On March 6, the government issued a decree approving the new composition of the board of directors of Russian Railways. The number of employees remained the same - 14 directors, of which three were independent, but almost half of the state representatives were replaced.
As Kommersant previously wrote, the deputy minister of economy Mikhail Rasstrigin and the head of the Skolkovo fund Arkady Dvorkovich, who headed the council in 2015-2018 as a profile deputy prime minister, left the board of directors of the monopoly. They were replaced by Economy Minister Maxim Reshetnikov and First Deputy Head of the Ministry of Construction Irek Fayzullin, representing the interests of Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin (see Kommersant on February 28). First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov, as Kommersant suggested, has been appointed to the council and, with a high probability, Kommersant sources say, will become its chairman. Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko, who oversees culture, sports and digital development, also joined the board of directors. Maxim Akimov, who previously held the position of profile vice-premier and was appointed to the Russian Post, did not retain a place on the board of directors.
From the point of view of nomenclature positions, the composition of the council approached the time of the founding of Russian Railways and became the most titled in its later history: it included two deputy prime ministers, two ministers and three deputy ministers.
The head of the Ministry of Agriculture Dmitry Patrushev left his chair, the second minister on the council, in addition to retaining his position as head of the Ministry of Transport, Yevgeny Dietrich, will be Mr. Reshetnikov. The Finance Ministry is now widely represented on the board of directors of Russian Railways - two deputy ministers, Andrei Ivanov and Alexei Sazanov. All independent directors - former Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern, chairman of the board of directors of the Kaskol group Sergey Nedoroslev and head of the Housing and Utility Sector Reform Support Fund Sergei Stepashin - retained their seats.
45.4 million rubles
amounted to the total remuneration of the board of directors of Russian Railways in 2019
Significant is the absence on the list for the first time in ten years of the head of the UST group, Grigory Berezkin. A Kommersant source familiar with the situation suggests that Mr. Berezkin was planned to be expelled from the council some time ago. Another interlocutor points to last year’s conflict over the supply of electricity to Russian Railways (the main supplier is Rusenergosbyt, where 50.5% is in UST, the rest is in Italy Enel), which involved both leaving board member Mikhail Rasstrigin and Grigory Berezkin . Then the Ministry of Economy proposed to radically reduce the margin of Rusenergosbyt under the contract with Russian Railways by 30% (see Kommersant on May 29, 2019). The UST did not comment.
The head of Infoline Analytics, Mikhail Burmistrov, believes that increasing the number and status of officials on the board of directors of Russian Railways in the current situation is likely to be a monopoly. Now the company is dealing with a crisis, when loading drops, incomes are in doubt, and the development of the Eastern landfill does not meet the expectations of shippers. It is important for management to ensure that the government believes: Russian Railways needs funds, and the company will ensure their efficient and transparent spending and timely commissioning of facilities. According to Mikhail Burmistrov, this aspect is more priority than the presence on the board of those directors who will really devote a lot of time and effort directly to the working issues and management of Russian Railways.