Alexander Temerko

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Alexander Temerko is a USSR-born British businessman in the energy sector, currently a director of the UK company Aquind Limited, which is responsible for building a power link between the UK and France.[1] Previously, he was director and Deputy Chairman of the UK-based company OGN Group.[2] When in Russia, he held senior posts in the Russian Defence Ministry in the 1990s and from 1999 he was a senior executive at the Russian oil and gas company Yukos. He has resided in the UK since 2004.[3] He became a UK citizen in 2011.[4] He is a member of, and a major donor to, the UK Conservative Party.[4][5]

Biography[edit]

Alexander Viktorovich Temerko was born in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (present-day Ukraine, then a part of the Soviet Union) on 9 September 1966.[6]

In 1987, he graduated from the Moscow Institute of Electronic Machine Building (Bachelor's Degree). He began his career in the field of environmental science, initially as the chief engineer of capital construction at the State Committee of the USSR on Environmental Protection, and then as director of the Department of Environmental Protection under the Ministry of Forestry.[7].

During the events preceding the dissolution of the USSR, Temerko became a prominent figure in the Boris Yeltsin team.

From early 1992, he held a series of positions in Russian state agencies under the Defence Ministry in charge of supplies and armaments.[3]

From 1999, he held executive positions in the Russian oil company Yukos. In 2003, upon the arrest of Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Temerko became the company′s vice president. He was in charge of interaction with state bodies. He resigned from the post on 15 March 2005.[8][9]

In 2016, Temerko was appointed as a director at Aquind, which is responsible for a $1.4 billion power link between France and the UK,[10][11] with power equivalent to 5% or 3% of British and French consumption respectively.[12]

Criminal prosecution in Russia and flight to London[edit]

Temerko fled to London shortly after he was examined by criminal investigators in October 2004.[13] In May 2005, Russian prosecutors charged Temerko with having stolen shares in the oil company Yeniseineftegaz, forgery, and perverting the course of justice.[14] Russia′s bid to have Temerko extradited from the UK failed as Judge Timothy Workman in December 2005 ruled: "I have come to the conclusion that the motivation for the charges against Mr Temerko are inextricably entwined with the motivation for the prosecution of Mr Khodorkovsky. I therefore find that the prosecution of Mr Temerko is politically motivated and the request for his extradition is made for the purpose of prosecuting or punishing him on account of his political opinions."[13] Temerko himself alleged that the motivation of the Russian state′s assault on Yukos was president Vladimir Putin's desire to silence those who challenged him politically.[15] The ruling on his extradition case was in line with a dozen other similar cases of former Yukos employees who absconded to the UK.[13]

Views and political activism in the UK[edit]

Temerko’s views on Russia′s economy and the Yukos affair were cited by Western media such as the Financial Times in the late 2000s.[16][17] [18] He himself contributed articles on the Russian oil industry developments to Western outlets such as The Observer and The Wall Street Journal.[19][20]

Temerko is a member of, and major donor to, the British Conservative Party where he is a member of the Leader's Group. He also actively supports local Party associations in the North-East England where his company is based and Cities of London & Westminster association where his office and residence are located.[21][5]

During the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, Temerko publicly supported the campaign for Scotland to remain in the United Kingdom. He has publicly voiced his support for Britain to remain in the European Union.[22] After the Referendum, Temerko advocated for a soft Brexit or even a general election, rather than a "no-deal" Brexit.[23] Le Monde quoted Temerko as stating that the most sensible solution for London would be to stop the Brexit process and support the French through reforming the European Union.[24] In August 2019, Temerko suggested that an extension of Article 50 or a second referendum were the only option to avoid the "unfolding travesty" of a no-deal exit on the 31st of October.[25]

He has also commented on the United Kingdom energy policies and advocated for greater support for British manufacturers.[26][27][28] Temerko has particularly emphasised the role of interconnectors in the energy market in spite of Brexit proceedings, due to the increased volatility caused by increased reliance on renewable sources. Aquind, where Temerko is a director, is developing one such Anglo-French interconnector.[10]

In July 2019, Temerko was quoted by Reuters, based on a series of interviews with him conducted in the course of three years, as applauding Brexit, endorsing Boris Johnson’s bid to lead Britain out of the EU, lauding senior Russian security officials (including the current and former heads of the Federal Security Service such as Nikolai Patrushev), and proudly recalling his past work with Russia’s Defence Ministry during the Yeltsin era.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "AQUIND Interconnector". aquind.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-12-05.
  2. ^ "Board of Directors: OGN Group". Archived from the original on 2011-02-21. Retrieved 2011-07-28.
  3. ^ a b Темерко Александр Викторович. Kommersant, 16 March 2005.
  4. ^ a b £43 million given to Conservatives by members of exclusive Cameron dining club. The Telegraph, 23 January 2014.
  5. ^ a b c Belton, Catherine (19 July 2019). "In British PM race, a former Russian tycoon quietly wields influence". Reuters. Retrieved 19 July 2019.
  6. ^ "AQUIND LIMITED-People". Companies House. Retrieved 2019-09-13.
  7. ^ Bio details on own web site(in English)
  8. ^ "ЮКОС разорвал отношения с государством по собственному желанию Александра Темерко". Kommersant. 2005-03-16.
  9. ^ "YUKOS Broke Relations With the State - Kommersant Moscow". Archived from the original on 2012-01-29. Retrieved 2011-07-28.
  10. ^ a b Ward, Andrew (2018-01-15). "Our friends electric: interconnection and Brexit". Financial Times. Retrieved 2019-09-13.
  11. ^ "Aquind confident on $1.4 billion France-UK power link despite Brexit". Reuters. 2017-03-06. Retrieved 2019-09-17.
  12. ^ "Aquind calls for 2 GW UK-France power link bids | S&P Global Platts". www.spglobal.com. 2019-06-03. Retrieved 2019-09-17.
  13. ^ a b c Judge refuses to extradite Russian former oil chief. FT, 23 December 2005.
  14. ^ Обвинение на случай оправдания / Александра Темерко обвинили заочно. Kommersant, 14 May 2005.
  15. ^ No extradition for Yukos official. BBC, 23 December 2005.
  16. ^ Catherine Belton. Yukos chiefs lied to us, claims PwC. FT, 26 June 2007.
  17. ^ Catherine Belton. The man who wants to buy back Russia. FT, 19 December 2007.
  18. ^ Catherine Belton. Mind your own business, Russia tells west. FT, 28 December 2010.
  19. ^ How Russia and its allies will be able to turn up | Business | The Observer The Observer, 8 April 2007.
  20. ^ Alexander Temerko. Rosneft Buyer Beware. 25 May 2006.
  21. ^ Pearson, Adrian (26 January 2014). "Tory donors flooding the North with cash to kick-start election battle". The Chronicle. Trinity Mirror North East. Retrieved 24 March 2016.
  22. ^ Temerko, Alexander (2016-07-04). "Under Theresa May, the Tories can put national unity first and save the EU from disaster". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2019-09-16.
  23. ^ Elliott, Francis (2018-10-20). "Election better than no deal Brexit, top donor Alexander Temerko tells No 10". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 2019-09-16.
  24. ^ "Alexander Temerko : « La solution la plus sensée pour Londres serait d'arrêter le processus du Brexit »". Le Monde. 2019-05-23. Retrieved 2019-09-16.
  25. ^ Temerko, Alexander (2019-08-14). "Brexit in a blaze of no-deal glory would leave the climate, consumers and the Tories worse off". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2019-09-16.
  26. ^ Amber Rudd Must Stand Up for British Industry and Consumers - Huffington Post
  27. ^ Haste Ye Back: What a Yes Vote Would Mean for Investment in the North Sea - Huffington Post
  28. ^ Business interview: Alexander Temerko of OGN - The Journal

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