Igor Sechin

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Sechin in 2009

Igor Ivanovich Sechin (Russian: Игорь Иванович Сечин, born 7 September 1960, Leningrad, Soviet Union) is a Russian official, considered a close ally of Vladimir Putin. Sechin is often described as one of Putin's most conservative counselors and the leader of the Kremlin's Siloviki faction, a statist lobby gathering former security services agents.[1] In December 2014, a CNBC article noted that Sechin is "widely believed to be Russia's second-most powerful person" after President Putin.[2]

Until 21 May 2012, he served as Deputy Prime Minister of Russia in Vladimir Putin's cabinet and he is currently the Executive Chairman of Rosneft.

On March 20, 2014 the United States government sanctioned Sechin in response to the Russian government's role in the ongoing unrest in Ukraine. The sanctions include a travel ban to the United States, freezing of all assets of Sechin in the United States and a ban on business transactions between American citizens and corporations and Sechin and businesses he owns.[3][4]

Career[edit]

Igor Sechin graduated from Leningrad State University in 1984 as a linguist fluent in Portuguese and French.

In the 1980s Igor Sechin worked in Mozambique. He was officially a Soviet interpreter. It is believed that he was a resident spy.[5]

According to Stratfor, Sechin was "The Soviet Union’s point man for weapons smuggling to much of Latin America and the Middle East" and he reportedly served with GRU agent and arms smuggler Viktor Bout.[6][7][8]

From 1991 to 1996, he worked at St. Petersburg mayor's office, and became a chief of staff of the first deputy mayor, Vladimir Putin in 1994. From 1996 to 1997, Sechin served as a deputy of Vladimir Putin, who worked in the presidential property management department.

From 1997 to 1998, Sechin was the chief of the general department of the main control directorate attached to the president, led by Putin. In August 1999, he was appointed head of the secretariat of the prime minister of Russia, Putin. From 24 November 1999, - 11 January 2000, Sechin was the first deputy chief of the Russian presidential administration.

Between 31 December 1999 and May 2008 he was deputy chief of Putin's administration. In May 2008, he was appointed by President Dmitry Medvedev as a deputy prime minister in a move considered as a demotion.[9]

According to Stratfor, "Sechin acts as boss of Russia’s gigantic state oil company Rosneft and commands the loyalty of the FSB. Thus, he represents the FSB’s hand in Russia’s energy sector."[10]

Since 27 July 2004 Sechin has been the highly successful and influential chairman of the board of directors of JSC Rosneft, which swallowed up the assets of jailed tycoon Khodorkovsky's Yukos. He has additionally been president of Rosneft since May 2012. Khodorkovsky has accused Igor Sechin of plotting to have him arrested and plundering his oil company: "The second as well as the first case were organised by Igor Sechin. He orchestrated the first case against me out of greed and the second out of cowardice." [11]

In 2008 Mr. Sechin allegedly blocked the replacement of the AAR consortium with Gazprom in the TNK-BP joint venture.[12]

In 2008 Igor Sechin was involved with the BP oil company and did private negotiations with BP CEO.[13]

In 2008 Hugo Chávez said that the idea for Venezuelan nuclear energy program came from Sechin. Sechin negotiated deals on weapons and nuclear technology deliveries to Venezuela.[14][15]

In July 2009 Sechin negotiated deals with Cuba that brought Russia into deep-water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.[16]

Sechin also presides over the Board of Directors of the United Shipbuilding Corporation, and helped with negotiations with France over the purchase of four Mistral-class assault vessels. Sechin argued that two ships should be constructed in Russia and two in France, as opposed to the initial offer that only one be constructed in Russia.[17] Piotr Żochowski, of the Polish Center for Eastern Studies, argued that "it cannot be ruled out that Sechin's stance on this issue results from his personal financial involvement in the St Petersburg shipbuilding industry".[17]

Personal life[edit]

Igor Sechin is married, and has a daughter, Inga. Inga married Dmitry Ustinov, son of former Prosecutor General and current Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Southern Federal District Vladimir Ustinov, in 2003. Inga and Dmitry had a son in 2005.

After the demotion of Vladimir Ustinov in 2006, Sechin reportedly arranged the appointment of Alexander Bastrykin, another ally of his, as Chairman of the Investigative Committee of the Prosecutor General's Office in 2007 in order to retain his influence.[18][19][20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Robert Amsterdam, "Downgrading the Siloviki", July 23, 2008.
  2. ^ Peleschuk, Dan (24 December 2014). "Think it's just Putin who runs Russia? Guess again". CNBC. Retrieved 25 December 2014. 
  3. ^ "Announcement Of Additional Treasury Sanctions On Russian Government Officials And Entities". US Department of the treasury. 
  4. ^ "Executive Order - Blocking Property of Additional Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine". The White House - Office of the Press Secretary. 
  5. ^ (ru) Сечин, Игорь
  6. ^ The Russian Resurgence and the New-Old Front, Stratfor, 15 September 2008.
  7. ^ "'Merchant of Death' denies arming terror", Guardian, 15 March 2009
  8. ^ “Merchant of Death” Trial Still Looms, The New American, 28 may 2009
  9. ^ A Lineup Aimed at Taming Siloviki, The Sunday Times, 15 May 2008.
  10. ^ Russia: The FSB Branches Out, Stratfor, 16 may 2008
  11. ^ Jailed tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky ‘framed’ by key Putin aide, The Sunday Times, 18 May 2008.
  12. ^ BP, Russian billionaires, and the Kremlin: a Power Triangle that never was "Oxford Energy Comment", November 2011. Accessed 24 November 2011
  13. ^ TNK-BP Is Hurting Russia
  14. ^ Russia Offers Venezuela's Chavez Weapons, Nuclear Cooperation, Bloomberg, 25 september 2008
  15. ^ Russia Plans Nuclear Plant in Venezuela, New York Times, 10 October 2010
  16. ^ Russia to drill for oil off Cuba, BBC News, 29 july 2009
  17. ^ a b Piotr Żochowski, Russia's interest in the Mistral: the political and military aspects, Center for Eastern Studies website, 11 november 2010
  18. ^ (ru) Бастрыкин, Александр, Lenta.ru
  19. ^ (ru) Однокашник президента возглавит прокурорское следствие, Kommersant.ru, 22 june 2007
  20. ^ (ru) СЕЧИНСКИЙ КОМИТЕТ ПРИ ГЕНПРОКУРАТУРЕ, Politcom.ru, 22 june 2007

External links[edit]