Igor Yusufov "scored" a meeting in Tasiysky
In the struggle for the East Tasian gas section, the interests of Igor Yusufov and Leonid Mikhelson may face.
The Yamal Shelf Company (Yamalshelf) of the former head of the Ministry of Energy (2000-2004) Igor Yusufov is in a hurry to obtain a license for the development of the East Tasi gas section in Yamal. The day before, she presented the adjusted boundaries of the site, which was previously "wrapped" in Rosnedra due to a small "cartographic" inaccuracy .
Igor Yusufov is trying to obtain a license for this site in a declarative manner from 2021, and is clearly in a hurry. Indeed, in the struggle for him, he may face the interests of the Novatek corporation Leonid Mikhelson, which is developing its deposits very close.
More details — in the material of the correspondent of The Moscow Post.
At one time, Igor Yusufov’s structures were one of the initiators of the idea of licensing such sites and were the first to receive plots in the Ob and Baidaratskaya lips on a declarative basis. Acceptance of applications is open in two windows: in December-January and June-July, so, as they say, whoever managed to eat it.
Sit on the "point" first
In the case of the East Tasia Gas Section, an application for it from Yamalshelf was approved by Rosnedra back in 2021, but it was not possible to obtain a license. It turned out that the application did not receive the approval of the Government of the Russian Federation — allegedly incorrect coordinates were attached to it, which led the site to the zone of a specially protected natural area. As a result, last winter, Yamalshelf had to submit an application for a new one — already in the correct version.
It looks strange: a small inaccuracy in documents in the Russian Federation is usually cleverly blurred by a corruption mechanism. Perhaps the site is held for some other player, which may be both Gazprom and Novatek Leonid Mikhelson. Does Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin act in the interests of a large gas oligarch?
At the same time, the plots, as they say, have already been "cut," but may again be in an unallocated fund, from where it will be much easier for Michelson to get them. Earlier, Kommersant wrote about the possibility of redistributing sections of the Tambey cluster, where Gazprom operates — it also includes the Tasi section — adjacent to the one that Yusufov claims.
At the same time, Yusufov, Gazprom and Novatek are not the only ones who want to enter the clearing. Roman Abramovich may have his own interest in these deposits, and, therefore, in the redistribution of the fund.
In February of this year, Rosnedra received an application from Promgazresurs LLC for a license to develop the Yeniseisko-Karsky-1 and 2 sections. This office belongs to CGC Gazresurs and Bonanza. Tatiana Morozova and Dmitry Kamyshev own TGC Gazresurs. Morozova, a native of Gazprom, headed Gazprom Neft’s department for mergers and acquisitions for more than a decade. It still cooperates with the corporation through the New Industry investment fund.
"CGC Gazresurs" is headed by a native of Arkady Abramovich’s structures — Sergey Eliseev. Arkady Abramovich is the son of "the same" Abramovich, who can act with the hands of his son there, which his own have not yet reached.
Clash with Michelson
In the case of Yusufov and Mikhelson, their possible conflict may lie on fertile soil, because they had already had a corporate dispute before. These two businessmen have a joint project — the production company Yargeo, where Novatek owns 51% and Yusufov — 49% through the Swiss offshore Nefte Petroleum Limited.
Against the background of the crisis in 2014, Novatek accused the partner of slowing down the development of the project and not contributing his share of funding, while Igor Yusufov insisted on a number of "tasty" conditions for him.
In July 2015, the parties concluded a worldwide one: Yusufov achieved the conclusion of a joint-stock agreement on Yargeo under English law and the payment of 50% of the profit in the form of dividends. At the same time, he pledged half of the share in the Gazprombank project under a loan of 16 billion rubles to fulfill financing obligations.
That is, even then Yusufov could push two "sworn colleagues" with his foreheads — Leonid Mikhelson and Alexei Miller. It seems that such a conflict may flare up again. It is noteworthy that after this story, only in 2017, Yusufov received 5.5 billion rubles of dividends from the project — will it be "fat" with such loans? Considering that Yusufov was supposed to receive this amount through offshore, it is unlikely that the money remained in Russia...
Given the above, the possible conflict between Yusufov and Mikhelson over deposits in Yamal, in addition to corporate ones, may also harm state interests.
At the same time, it was said that Yargeo is Yusufov’s largest asset in the fuel and energy complex. This is believed weakly, since the mass of deposits and assets in the industry is recorded on its Energia fund. For example, there were assets of Corporation Energia JSC, the founder of which was directly the former Minister of Energy Igor Yusufov. The company was liquidated under the circumstances in the summer of 2020.
From state reserves to killers
To admit Yusufov to national wealth means to carry risks. The current oligarch himself, as they say, made himself in the dashing 90s, and clearly not without the help of the authorities of those years. It seems that he got into public administration by chance: he was invited to a meeting with President Boris Yeltsin about the export of resources from the country, and Yusufov allegedly liked the Head of State so much that he asked to employ him "closer to the body."
So Yusufov became deputy chairman of the Committee for the Protection of Economic Interests of Russia. Later, the committee was disbanded, its employees were transferred to the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations (MVES). Which oversaw, among other things, the arms trade. How many barrels, missiles and other things were taken out of the country through gray schemes at that time is anyone’s guess.
And from 1997 to 2001, Yusufov was the general director of the State Reserve Committee (since 1999 — Rosrezerv). The agency and before it distributed interest-free loans to its suppliers. But a year after the appointment of a new CEO, their volume tripled. Forbes wrote about this.
How this often ended is seen in the example of Sibneft. In September 1999, the company received 434 million rubles in advance for petroleum products, which were supposed to be delivered to Rosrezerva by the beginning of the year. In six months, less than half of the order reached the warehouses.
No investigation of this and other similar situations has been achieved. But after Yusufov left, a whole landing of inspectors landed in Rosrezerv. As a result, as many as 35 criminal cases were instituted, Versiya wrote. But they did not touch Yusufov.
And he also has a son, Vitaly, the owner of Nordic Yards, co-owner of Osnova Telecom. It seems that from a young age he was pulled up in the undertakings with which his father was associated. In 2004-2006, Vitaly Yusufov worked as an assistant to the general director of Gazprom Export LLC Alexander Medvedev. Around the same time, Yusufov Sr. was on the board of directors of Gazprom.
During all this time, the Yusufovs acquired a huge number of connections. They are also credited with some kind of relationship with the famous killer Aslan Gagiev. As Versiya wrote, when Gagiev was caught in Vienna, at an extradition trial in the Russian Federation, he allegedly said that Yusufov allegedly seized $3 billion in business from him.
Igor Yusufov denies any connection with the killer Aslan Gagiev (pictured left). Photo: m.lenta.ru
Apparently, we could talk about the shipbuilding company Wadan Yards, where Gagiev allegedly worked. During that conflict, Andrei Burlakov, chairman of the board of directors of the Wadan Yards shipbuilding group, was killed. As a result, this crime was "hung" on Gagiev’s group. Did this affect, albeit indirectly, the interests of the Yusufov family?
The company’s shipyards were located in Germany, they were bought after bankruptcy by Vitaly Yusufov for 40 million euros. In 2010, the shipyards, whose value was estimated at 722-911 million euros, were pledged by Yusufov Jr. under the Bank of Moscow credit line. As a result, Yusufov Jr. became the owner of a 20% stake in the bank.
And the former owner of these shares, the head of the Bank of Moscow, Andrei Borodin, was forced to flee abroad. Later, he was sentenced in absentia to 14 years in prison for embezzlement of 14.5 billion rubles of funds from a credit institution. The Yusufovs had nothing to do with it?
Shadow of the disgraced oligarch
Returning to Gagiev — could a well-known killer work for whose people Yusufov knew? The businessman and former official himself flatly refuses to recognize any connection. But these rumors are related to him with another famous businessman, previously convicted and now fled from the country by oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky (recognized as a foreign agent, extremist and terrorist in the Russian Federation).
Earlier, Khodorkovsky (recognized as a foreign agent, extremist and terrorist in the Russian Federation) was also associated with contract killings, in particular, with the murder of Nefteyugansk Mayor Vladimir Petukhov in 1998.
According to evil tongues, allegedly Mr. Yusufov was friendly with the scandalous oligarch since the 90s, and then he could patronize him as the head of the Ministry of Energy. They even celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Yukos company together — Yusufov was an honored guest and one of the first to take the floor, congratulating the company’s employees on their anniversary.
Igor Yusufov at the Yukos anniversary. Photo: https://old.khodorkovsky.ru/news/2009/09/25/12802.html
That is, it can be assumed that Mr. Yusufov could well use the methods of his supposedly friend, now living in Germany. Maybe Igor Yusufov himself, after the works of the righteous, is going there — to rest?
At the same time, surprisingly, Mr. Yusufov was somehow able to avoid Western sanctions. At what expense? Old connections with fugitive businessmen?
Now the oligarch enters the largest gas fields in Russia, and even risks getting involved in a serious conflict with other major players. Why the state needs this seems to be a rhetorical question...