Viewpoint: Yukos to revive with Gerashchenko as its head

The appointment of Viktor Gerashchenko, the former Bank of Russia head and a current Duma deputy from the Rodina faction, as chairman of the oil company Yukos' board of directors should be helpful in finding a constructive solution for the Yukos crisis. Such is the opinion of Anastasia Beiliss, an expert in the Russia-Euroasia programme of Britain's Royal Institute of Internationmal Affairs.

"I am sure that Viktor Gerashenko's authority in the banking community in Russia and abroad will certainly inspire confidence in the company's creditors," said the expert.

"His prestige as an expert, his political links and his knowledge of the Kremlin policies make him the main candidate for improving the Yukos situation constructively," continued Beiliss.

She also noted that Gerashchenko's work in parliament, which he will probably have to leave, provide him with lobbyist opportunities which are also precious.

On the whole, Beiliss referred to the appointment of the central bank ex-chairman head of the leading Russian oil company's board of directors as "the company's move toward political compromise with the government."

"His appointment may bridge the abyss between the two parties in the case," said Beiliss.

"He has a firm resolve to rehabilitate Yukos by establishing a fair exchange of opinions with the government and discussing the company's allegedly illegitimate activities with taxes," pointed out the expert.

She also alluded to President Putin's recent press-conference in Tashkent when he declared in favour of doing everything possible to avoid Yukos bankruptcy. "Ways are to be found to set up another, more politically loyal Yukos that will work for the benefit of Russia," said the expert of the Royal Institute of International Affairs. "This implies a gradual replacement of the management," she concluded.

The Yukos board of directors has elected Viktor Gerashchenko its chairman last Thursday, on June 24.

The Moscow Court of Arbitration is busy considering the tax ministry's suit on collecting $3.3 billion in arrears from Yukos..

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Author`s name: Editorial Team