Gazprom ‘rising star’ made Russian energy minister

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Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin has appointed Pyotr Rodionov, General Director of Lentransgas (Gazprom's pipeline and marketing company in the north west), as the new Russian Energy Minister, replacing Yuri Shafranik who has returned to the West Siberian oil industry as chairman of the Tyumen Oil Company. Identified as a "rising star" in the July 1996 issue of Gas Matters (page 5) when he was elevated to Gazprom's Board of Management, Rodionov brings remarkable youth (he is only 45) as well as the interests of gas and Gazprom to the ministry. The ability of Chernomyrdin to promote his own "bright young man" to the ministry may be significant as an indication of his influence in the new Yeltsin Government. But given the relatively short tenure of Russian energy ministers, it may also be a pointer to the person Chernomyrdin believes should lead Gazprom into the next century.

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