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Oleg Deripaska

Monday, 29 September 2008

Oleg DeripaskaDifficult and responsible is the role of an oligarch in the modern Russia. It is necessary to keep an eye on everything - on economy, politics and public sentiments. You should watch lest they would strike there and if they would behave themselves correctly here, make agreements with everybody in time and wouldn't offend anybody. At the same time you must keep looking at neighboring countries. Oh, how unwise they are! They aim at acting in their own way. Who has permitted? Who has ordered? You have hit upon this idea yourselves? It is all for nothing... One must not think oneself; there are bright heads of oligarchs meant for it. They have already decided for everyone.

Oleg Deripaska is one of the most outstanding representatives of the new Russian business-elite. With being included in the Forbes ratings for many years, this man is absorbing everybody's attention by his words and deeds. He became the example for many. 

Deripaska has shown remarkable entrepreneurial skills from the studentship. There exists either an anecdote or fairy-tale until now about how Oleg managed to sell dozens of tons of sugar to a big government organization. In 1990th he knew well how to enjoy all advantages that the new Russian state and legislation gave him. As a result, a powerful industrial and investment empire was established. Moreover, Deripaska has always been loyal to the authorities so as to possess their support, protection and administrative resources.  He didn't follow the path of Gusinsky, Berezovsky and Hodorkovsky. There are such people as Choubais and Abramovich among his friends and partners. He married the daughter of Valentin Yumashev, Polina. He could not make his choice by accident.

Oleg Deripaska is very sensitive to public opinion and takes every possibility to give it the required vector. Here is the direct quotation from a mass media source: «I'm interested in two things - product advertising and guaranteed possibility to express my point of view». Perhaps that was the reason why in 1999 the oligarch decided to found his own media holding. Besides, he had a hand in publication of «The Vremia Novostey» newspaper. Restless rumors insist that Oleg bought the development of The Effective Politics Fund of Gleb Pavlovsky - network newspaper «Gazeta.Ru». Not without his participation, the closed joint stock company «The Six Channel» was established in 2002.

During Vladimir Putin's presidency, Deripaska brought himself to the forefront. He became an irreplaceable assistant and adviser of the authorities in many economic issues. Practically always he accompanied the head of state in his visits to former USSR Central Asiatic republics. The oligarch has a deliberate interest to this region. Cheap labor and unstable economic and political situation that frightens off rival investors from far abroad are very attractive for Deripaska. For example, he could put his eye on the aluminum plant in Tajikistan. Unstable public sentiments are not obstacles for him. According to Deripaska, business management system that was built up correctly would influence and even form the local authorities; and further on direct the state of public opinion.  Here is an adopted variant of the US democracy expansion in the Third world countries.

Deripaska is the author of the program article «Russia's strategy in 21 century», the gist of which is in the transition of economy from «offshore to onshore state». Vladimir Putin more than once noted the oligarch's personal and remarkable contribution to the Russian economy, both by his deeds and his money, how to do without it. The interaction of the authorities and large-scale business in the person of Deripaska was adjusted long ago, it must work without fail. For example, it is necessary to invest any money to improvement of education among state officials. No problem! The oligarch's private fund «Volnoe delo» puts up 5 million dollars to the Moscow State University Higher Management School. The reverse may also be true. The head of Plekhanov Academy submitted an application to the President about the changing of management form in order to acquire the status of an independent organization. Oleg Deripaska was ready to become its partner, naturally, for a round sum.

Such close connection between the authorities and Deripaska has given cause for rumors that the oligarch is a figure-head. They say, all his property is the property of the state; and the pseudo-oligarch is a top-manager successfully hired at the beginning of 1990th.

An important event took place in Oleg's life not long ago. He pulled out the title of the richest man in Russia from Roman Abramovich. He also took an attempt to win off the governor of the Chukot region at a football ground.  Deripaska hold negotiations for buying the control stock of London's football club «Arsenal». However, he failed. London seems to be too small for two oligarchs.

Natalia Rudenko

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