|By PR Newswire||
|April 12, 2014 05:00 AM EDT||
MOSCOW, April 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
Gennady Timchenko, the founder and beneficial shareholder of Volga Group, has given an exclusive interview to Sergey Brilev on the Russian TV programme "News on Saturday" ("Vesti v subbotu"). During the interview Mr Timchenko commented in detail on a number of topics.
Partnership with China
- "Russia's turn towards China is partially due to Europe pushing us away in recent years. By working with Chinese partners, we can also demonstrate to the Europeans that we have new opportunities and promising markets in the Asia-Pacific region."
- "China is an area where we need to be present. Lots of companies want to supply their products to China. Australia and other countries are building LNG production facilities. We need to keep pace and not hold back on cooperation with China."
- "We have been working with the Chinese for several years on serious projects including Yamal LNG. This is a highly complex project in economic terms. It is a mark of our success that we have been able to reach agreement with our Chinese partners quickly and bring them on board as shareholders in Yamal LNG. It is important that we keep up the pace and achieve all of the plans we have set out by the start of 2017. Then we will be able to start supplies of LNG to China in 2Q 2017."
- "Building big businesses such as this one creates large numbers of new jobs in Russia. Businesses also create new tax revenues, which in future will be used to pay public-sector workers and address social issues."
- "I also have good relationships with European businessmen. It is likely that I will stay on as co-chairman of the Franco-Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. I have also received an offer to head a similar Russian-Chinese advisory body, which in all probability I will readily accept."
US sanctions list
- "I found out that I had been included on the list from the news. I had assumed that this was a possibility, but still to have it confirmed was slightly unexpected, although something of a badge of honour for me. I think that this is a judgement on my investments in Russia - in the energy and petrochemicals sector, in infrastructure construction and the foodstuffs industry."
- "Europe has not announced any sanctions against me. However, there have been some complications as a result of the American sanctions, as some banks have started creating difficulties for business. In effect, the American authorities are making life difficult for European banks."
- "We assumed that this could happen, and took care of our funds held with European banks ahead of time. All of these funds are now in Russia and are being securely held by our Russian banks."
- "My stake in Gunvor was less than 50%. Essentially I was not obliged to sell the shares, but I did so in order not to create problems for the company, which is growing fast and today is one of the top three energy traders worldwide."
On calls to use the ruble as the settlement currency for Russian exports
- "We have examined these proposals and are already in talks with our counterparties, many of whom are prepared to consider the idea. To start with we are talking about switching to settlement in euros, but given that European sanctions remain a possibility we may also use the ruble for settlement, as well as the renminbi for doing business with China. We are ready for this, and it seems that our Chinese partners are also prepared to give the idea serious consideration."
Relations with Europe
- "European leaders today have a poor understanding of the global situation and the consequences of meddling in these or those processes. Western media present events in Russia in a thoroughly negative light. Yes, we have problems, and these need to be covered. But the fact remains that there is a propaganda campaign being waged against Russia. And this is disturbing."
- "I have never concealed my dual citizenship. People involved in state business should probably declare their dual citizenship if they have it. I do not see this as an infringement of any human rights."
About Volga Group
One of the largest investment groups in Russia, Volga Group has investments in 18 core companies, located mainly in Russia. The three core strategic investment areas are energy, logistics and infrastructure. Volga Group also has investments in the financial services and consumer goods sectors. The Group's largest holdings include Novatek (23%), Sibur (37.3%), Transoil (80%), STG Group (63%).
For media inquiries:
Mr. Anton Kurevin
Communications Director, Volga Advisors
Email: [email protected]
Tel.: +7-495-777-38-98 (extn. 711)
Mr. Stuart Leasor
Email: [email protected]