Moscow, Russia

Russian Railways

rzd.ru/
Moscow, Russia

JSC Russian Railways tr. Rossiyskie zheleznye dorogi ), is a Russian vertically integrated company, both managing infrastructure and operating freight and passenger train services. In 2012 it became one of the three largest transport companies in the world. The company was established on September 18, 2003, when a decree was passed to separate the railways from the Russian Ministry of the Means of Communication .Full name — Open Joint Stock Company Russian Railways with headquarters in Moscow at Novaya Basmannaya str., 2. The operating units of the central part of the staff are at Kalanchevskaya str., 35. The president of the company is Vladimir Yakunin since June 14, 2005. Wikipedia.

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Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: SST-2007-6.0-01;SST-2007-6.0-02 | Award Amount: 506.34K | Year: 2008

Contributing to the European Research Area in surface transport to strengthen the competitiveness of the European surface transport sector. This will be achieved by using the excellent EURNEX competence to provide research excellence capabilities to European Small and Medium Size Enterprises (SMEs). Furthermore the cooperation with research excellencies from non EU countries will stimulate research that is of mutual interest and strengthen the European as well as non European research excellencies. EURNEX, the European Rail Research Network of Excellence, started on 01 January 2004 and has been granted for 4 years with 6 Mio within the 6th Framework Programme of EC. It involves 66 research institutes from 20 European countries and the associations of industry and operators UNIFE, UIC and UITP. More than 80 % of the members cover not only the rail research domain but surface transport. EURNEX supports the aims of the EC to see an interoperable and harmonised European rail system contributing to co-modality and a strong internationally competitive European railway industry by integrating the fragmented research, sharing knowledge and coordinating current research. The main benefits for the integration of non EU researchers in EURNEX are the scientific exchange on an international level, the training of junior scientists and researchers using the EURNEX assets, the identification of research areas that are of mutual interest, and the solving of problems in the international railway sector with European know how. The main benefits, that SMEs contributing as associated partners in EURNEX can gain, are an overview of the state of the art of the surface transport sector as a whole as well as specific topics, an insight in current research trends, an evaluation of their individual know how (respecting sensitive information), and an access to excellent research capabilities and test facilities.


News Article | November 29, 2016
Site: globenewswire.com

MOSCOW, Nov. 29, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Mechel PAO (MICEX:MTLR) (NYSE:MTL), one of the leading Russian mining and metals companies, announces 9M2016 operational results. “In this accounting period, prices on the global coal market demonstrated an explosive hike. Starting in mid-August, indexes for spot prices for premium coking coal went up dramatically and topped the psychologically important milestone of 200 US dollars per tonne by mid-September. In early November, spot prices topped 300 US dollars, which means that spot prices for Australian premium coking coal have quadrupled from 75 dollars per tonne in November 2015. Global steam coal prices also showed solid growth. We have prepared a propitious base for increasing exports and boosting our operational and financial results, and we expect significant effect from the current market trend in the fourth quarter. “Meanwhile, in the third quarter our domestic market faced complications with deliveries — due to major two-month lack of rolling stock in Kuzbass delivery of coal to Far Eastern ports was significantly limited, which reflected on our production and sales results. “Despite an overall 10-percent decrease in shipments of coking coal concentrate in the third quarter quarter-on-quarter, in absolute terms we have increased sales to China, Japan and India in this accounting period, selling over 1 million tonnes of coking coal concentrate on Asian markets. “As for PCI, in the third quarter we have completely re-oriented our exports toward Asia Pacific. Today Korean companies are chief customers of this type of coal. In this accounting period we saw a seven-percent drop quarter-on-quarter in sales for technical reasons — as due to aforementioned transport problems as well as delays in arrival of South Korean vessels to Port Posiet, some of September volumes were transferred to the fourth quarter. “The six-percent drop in anthracite sales is due to the decrease of production at Krasnogorsky Open Pit and the decrease in supply of this type of coal to the Group’s facilities. Nevertheless, we noted an increase in export sales — primarily to Europe, where we sold 53% of anthracite in the third quarter. “Transport limitations accounted for the minor decrease in sales of Southern Kuzbass Coal Company’s steam coal. At Elga Coal Complex the downward dynamics were due to planned repairs at the washing plant. “Weakening demand for coke had a negative impact on our sales (-5%). “Sales of iron ore concentrate from Korshunov Mining Plant went up by 12%, all of it shipped to Chelyabinsk Metallurgical Plant. “The steel segment decreased production of pig iron and steel by 7% and 5% accordingly quarter-on-quarter due to planned repairs in the blast furnace facility. “In the third quarter we cut production of flat rolls by 22% quarter-on-quarter, redirecting these resources to more profitable products, also increasing sales of such a highly profitable product as flat stainless rolls. “Further development of production at the universal rolling mill remained a key focus for this accounting period. We have increased sales of high value-added products produced at the universal rolling mill by 23%. Over this year’s first nine months, production volumes nearly tripled, reaching 357,000 tonnes. In the third quarter we produced and shipped to Russian Railways the agreed-upon amount of rails, reaching the planned figure of 150,000 tonnes well ahead of schedule. We continue our cooperation with Russian Railways and plan to supply 100,000 tonnes of rails more by the end of the year. Currently our rolling mill’s workload is at more than 50% and has tripled since the beginning of the year. “We use nearly all of the billets from our own facilities to make products with a higher profit margin, so billet sales to third parties went down by 56%. In line with our strategy we intend to continue minimizing billet sales. “A slump in construction business led to a proportionate decrease in consumption of wire and other hardware on the Russian market. Beloretsk Metallurgical Plant managed to partly compensate this slump by increasing production and sales of wire ropes for the mining and oil industries. “The 29-percent increase in forgings sales was due to the transfer of shipment dates from the end of 2Q2016 to early 3Q2016, as well as the seasonal hike in demand at the markets of our Mechel Service Global office in Belgium. “In the power segment, the 20-percent slump in electricity generation over these nine months year-on-year was due to planned repairs at Southern Kuzbass Power Plant as the facility was preparing for the fall-winter maximum load. The three-percent decrease in heat generation was due to an earlier end to the heating season.” Mechel is an international mining and steel company which employs over 66,000 people. Its products are marketed in Europe, Asia, North and South America, Africa. Mechel unites producers of coal, iron ore concentrate, steel, rolled products, ferroalloys, heat and electric power. All of its enterprises work in a single production chain, from raw materials to high value-added products. Some of the information in this press release may contain projections or other forward-looking statements regarding future events or the future financial performance of Mechel, as defined in the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. We wish to caution you that these statements are only predictions and that actual events or results may differ materially. We do not intend to update these statements. We refer you to the documents Mechel files from time to time with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including our Form 20-F. These documents contain and identify important factors, including those contained in the section captioned “Risk Factors” and “Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” in our Form 20-F, that could cause the actual results to differ materially from those contained in our projections or forward-looking statements, including, among others, the achievement of anticipated levels of profitability, growth, cost and synergy of our recent acquisitions, the impact of competitive pricing, the ability to obtain necessary regulatory approvals and licenses, the impact of developments in the Russian economic, political and legal environment, volatility in stock markets or in the price of our shares or ADRs, financial risk management and the impact of general business and global economic conditions.


News Article | February 13, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

MOSCOW, Russia, Feb. 13, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Mechel PAO (MICEX:MTLR) (NYSE:MTL), one of the leading Russian mining and metals companies, announces 2016 operational results. “Global coal prices have reached new lows in 2015, prompting experts to unanimously forecast an equally difficult 2016. After the third quarter, few cared to remember those forecasts, as spot prices for the coal producers’ main benchmark — premium coking coal FOB Australia — went up by 190% by the end of the year. As a result, coal won the status of the most efficient commodity of the year. In our view, the coal market in this accounting period was almost entirely under China’s influence. Chinese authorities undertook a program of reducing the number of domestic producers, halting half of its 500 million tonnes of excessive production capacities by the end of 2016. The prices were also hiked up by unfavorable weather conditions and transport infrastructure problems in China and Australia. The price rally made the export market particularly attractive for commercial deals. The Group’s sales subsidiaries took on a proactive position on this issue, and in the fourth quarter we significantly increased our coal export sales to benefit from the favorable trend. In 4Q2016, nearly half of all exported coal was shipped in accordance with updated prices on the existing contracts, while the other half was sold on spot deals, with exports accounting for nearly 85% of all coal sales to third parties. We also consider as positive the increase of coking coal mining at the Elga deposit which now accounts for 75% of all coal production. Starting in September and until the end of the year, Elga’s products were sold exclusively to export. “We increased sales of coking coal concentrate, our chief product, by 5% year-on-year. In 4Q2016 we also redistributed our coking coal concentrate sales in favor of the more profitable Asian markets, which enabled us to sell an additional 400,000 tonnes of concentrate to Asia Pacific and improve our quarterly results. “The 28-percent slump in PCI sales was due to two reasons. First, due to difficult mountainous and geological conditions, the volume of overburden removal at Krasnogorsky Open Pit increased, which affected PCI sales. Also, in 2015 we have been optimizing our stock balance, and our coal stock reserves went down nearly triple. At the same time we were meeting all our long-term contract obligations in full. Anthracite sales had negative dynamics (-15%) due to our reconsidering contract terms with our key European client decreasing supplies. “The seven-percent increase in steam coal sales is due to sales of coal accumulated in our storages since 2015 and re-orientation of sales from the domestic market to the foreign ones. Due to a flexible sales policy we managed to increase steam coal sales to third parties by more than a million tonnes. These positive dynamics can be seen on all our export lines. “Practically all iron ore concentrate produced at Korshunov Mining Plant was shipped to Chelyabinsk Metallurgical Plant to replace third-party supplies of steelmaking materials. “The domestic coke market remains in surplus, which had its effect on a slight decrease of our sales (-3%) in 2016. We continue to search for new sales opportunities both domestically and internationally. “Our company’s steel division maintained pig iron production at the same level. A slight decrease in steel production (-2%) was due to the increased share of steel production for the more labor-intensive assortment of high-margin products. “In 2016 we increased by 195% sales of high-margin product types produced at the universal rolling mill. This includes sale of 304,000 tonnes of rails, with 270,000 tonnes shipped to Russian Railways. By now, the mill has mastered production of some 30 type sizes, and we will continue to expand our product range. “Long rolls sales went up by 9% primarily due to the increase of sales of the universal rolling mill’s high value-added products. In 2016 the steel division also increased sales of rebar both domestically and in Europe. “Flat rolls sales were maintained on a stable level, with a three-percent increase due to Mechel’s steel trade  network’s European subsidiaries expanding their sales. We should also note that in 4Q2016 we managed to boost sales of such a high-margin product as flat stainless rolls by nearly a third. “The four-percent decrease in hardware sales was due to a slump in construction and as a result weaker demand for wire on the domestic market. Nevertheless, Beloretsk Metallurgical Plant succeeded in import substitution, increasing sales of high-strength types of wire and ropes for construction and oil industries. “The slump of demand in Europe affected the dynamics of forgings sales (-15%). The 12-percent increase in stampings sales came as Russia's wagon-building industry picked up after the ban on life extension for outdated rolling stock came into force. Wagon overhaul facilities increased procurement of wagon axles. “In 2016 Mechel’s power division generated 18% less electricity than in 2015, as production volumes at Southern Kuzbass Power Plant went down due to repairs of key facilities as part of preparation for the fall-winter maximum load. These planned repairs will enable the division to increase electricity generation by nearly a third this year. Heat generation remained at the same level and went up by 1% due to an additional calendar day in the 2016 leap year.” Mechel is an international mining and steel company which employs over 66,000 people. Its products are marketed in Europe, Asia, North and South America, Africa. Mechel unites producers of coal, iron ore concentrate, steel, rolled products, ferroalloys, heat and electric power. All of its enterprises work in a single production chain, from raw materials to high value-added products. Some of the information in this press release may contain projections or other forward-looking statements regarding future events or the future financial performance of Mechel, as defined in the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. We wish to caution you that these statements are only predictions and that actual events or results may differ materially. We do not intend to update these statements. We refer you to the documents Mechel files from time to time with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including our Form 20-F. These documents contain and identify important factors, including those contained in the section captioned “Risk Factors” and “Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” in our Form 20-F, that could cause the actual results to differ materially from those contained in our projections or forward-looking statements, including, among others, the achievement of anticipated levels of profitability, growth, cost and synergy of our recent acquisitions, the impact of competitive pricing, the ability to obtain necessary regulatory approvals and licenses, the impact of developments in the Russian economic, political and legal environment, volatility in stock markets or in the price of our shares or ADRs, financial risk management and the impact of general business and global economic conditions.


News Article | December 21, 2015
Site: www.fastcompany.com

2015 was the year we continued to see new types of transportation, including self-driving cars and buses, all kinds of drones, and even futuristic trains, like Elon Musk's Hyperloop. It was also when we started to see transport become better integrated. Bike-share companies looked to become part of wider transit systems (rather than just standalone services). Uber started to share data with cities, auguring a time when ride-sharing become part of public networks. And, we saw plenty of new apps and sites allowing people to move more seamlessly between modes. For any given journey, we can now understand the best way to get from A to B. There were some failures as well. Leap Transit, an upmarket private bus service in San Francisco, went out of business (not that anyone minded too much). Generally things got better. As we gather and crunch data more effectively, we should be able to move more quickly and with less hassle, even as cities become more congested with people. 1. Boston Is Using Uber Data To Plan Better Urban Transportation For once, Uber does good with its trove of data. 2. A Better Use For Delivery Drones: Transporting Medical Samples In Remote Places Blood and urine could soon be taking to the skies. Don't look up. 3. This App Wants To Help Public Transit Compete With Uber Imagine: public buses on demand. 4. The Future Of Bike Sharing: Becoming Part Of Public Transit The operator of bike-share programs across the nation wants to make hopping on a bicycle a more seamless experience. 5. Moovit Crowdsources Public Transit Data, So You'll Never Get Stuck Waiting For The Bus Again It's like Waze for public transit. 6. To Reduce Traffic, Atlanta Will Pay Drivers To Use Public Transit Get off the interstate when it's busy, and you get a credit to use it when it's not. 7. Russian Railways Wants To Build An Insanely Long Train That Runs From Europe To North America "This is an inter-state, inter-civilization project." But is it even a good idea? 8. Insect Design: Learning How To Build Transportation Networks From Ants Ants build complex, resource efficient networks with no central planning—that's definitely something humans can learn a thing or two about.


News Article | October 28, 2016
Site: www.marketwired.com

- First project underway follows recent signing of Memorandum of Understanding between Russian Railways International and Bombardier Transportation - Signalling upgrade on the Serbian section of the Belgrade-Bar Line is an important step towards modernising the 40-year old passenger line BERLIN, GERMANY--(Marketwired - Oct. 24, 2016) - Rail technology leader Bombardier Transportation has started work on its first rail control project in Serbia, phase one of the upgrade to the Serbian section of the Belgrade-Bar (Montenegro) Line. The pioneering project on the 77.6 km Resnik-Valjevo section is being delivered by the Bombardier Transportation (Signal) Ltd Joint Venture to Russian Railways (RZD) International which is undertaking the upgrade on behalf of Serbian Railways (Infrastruktura železnice Srbije). Peter Cedervall, President, Rail Control Solutions Division, Bombardier Transportation, commented, "We are pleased to be expanding into Serbia and contributing to the modernisation of the country's railway infrastructure, which will bring important safety enhancements and reduced travel times for passengers. In addition, this project is further recognition of our role as a trusted supplier across the 1520 mm gauge market and we look forward to working together with RZD International, as well as further building on our vehicle presence in Serbia for locomotive operation." The 287 km Serbian section of the Belgrade-Bar Line is the longest rail connection on the country's network and forms part of the link between Serbia and Montenegro's capitals. The Resnik-Valjevo project is a landmark step towards the first complete modernisation of the Serbian line in 40 years of operation. As well as delivering modern signalling and telecommunications products for increased safety, the upgrade will support increased train speeds from 50 to 120 km/hr. This is also the first project to start after the MoU signed in June between RZD International and Bombardier Transportation for close cooperation on developing and implementing joint railway infrastructure projects in the international market. The companies plan to collaborate on technologies and share experience within railway infrastructure construction, signalling and project management. A pioneer in the region, Bombardier Transportation (Signal) Ltd was the first international joint venture to be formed for the Russian Railways, delivering the BOMBARDIER EBI Lock 950 computer-based interlocking (CBI) system. Since the first station was equipped in Russia in 1999, the company has equipped almost 300 stations across Russia, the Baltics, CIS, Mongolia and Eastern Europe and is fast becoming an expert in modern rail control for the entire 1520 mm railway gauge market. In Serbia, Bombardier Transportation has a footprint through its locomotive business with the Hungarian State Railways (MAV) which is operating BOMBARDIER TRAXX AC2 locomotives. Bombardier Transportation is a global leader in rail technology and offers the broadest portfolio in the industry. It covers the full spectrum of rail solutions, ranging from trains to sub-systems and signalling. The company also provides complete transport systems, e-mobility technology and maintenance services. As an innovation driver, Bombardier Transportation continuously breaks new ground in sustainable mobility. It provides integrated solutions that create substantial benefits for operators, passengers and the environment. Headquartered in Berlin, Germany, Bombardier Transportation employs around 39,400 people and its products and services operate in over 60 countries. Bombardier is the world's leading manufacturer of both planes and trains. Looking far ahead while delivering today, Bombardier is evolving mobility worldwide by answering the call for more efficient, sustainable and enjoyable transportation everywhere. Our vehicles, services and, most of all, our employees are what make us a global leader in transportation. Bombardier is headquartered in Montréal, Canada. Our shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (BBD) and we are listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index. In the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015, we posted revenues of $18.2 billion. News and information are available at bombardier.com or follow us on Twitter @Bombardier. For news releases, related material and photos, visit our media centre at www.bombardier.com/en/media-centre.html. Please subscribe to our RSS Feed to receive press releases or follow Bombardier Transportation on Twitter @BombardierRail. Bombardier, EBI TRAXX and The Evolution of Mobility are trademarks of Bombardier Inc. or its subsidiaries. You can also contact one of our worldwide contacts for specific press inquiries.


Basalaeva N.L.,Russian Railways
Biological Trace Element Research | Year: 2013

The purpose of this study was to determine the content of iodine and selenium in the thyroid and pituitary glands of rats under iodine-induced blockade of the thyroid gland. Electron probe microanalysis, wavelength-dispersive spectrometry, and point analysis were used in this investigation. We also determined the expression of sodium iodide symporter and caspase 32 in the thyroid and pituitary glands and the expression of thyroid-stimulating hormone in the pituitary. The samples for iodine analysis must be thoroughly dehydrated, and for this purpose, we developed a method that produced samples of constant mass with minimal loss of substrate (human thyroid gland was used for the investigation). Normal levels of iodine and selenium were found in the thyroid, pituitary, ovaries, testes hypothalamus, and pancreas of healthy rats. The levels of iodine and selenium in I- or Se-positive points and the percentage of positive points in most of these organs were similar to those of controls (basal level), except for the level of iodine in the thyroid gland and testes. Blockade of the thyroid gland changed the iodine level in iodine-positive points of the thyroid and the pituitary glands. On the sixth day of blockage, the iodine level in iodine-positive points of the thyroid gradually decreased to the basal level followed by an abrupt increase on the seventh day, implying a rebound effect. The opposite was found in the pituitary, in which the level of iodine in iodine-positive points increased during the first 6 days and then abruptly decreased on the seventh day. Expression of the thyroid-stimulating hormone in the pituitary decreased during the first 5 days but sharply increased on the sixth day, with a minimum level of iodine in the thyroid and maximum in the pituitary, before normalization of the iodine level in both glands preceding the rebound effect. The expression of sodium iodide symporter increased during the first 4 days of blockage and then decreased in both glands. The fluctuations of the thyroid-stimulating hormone in the pituitary gland reflected the changes of iodine in the thyroid gland more precisely than the changes of sodium iodide symporter. The selenium level in the selenium-positive points changed only in the pituitary, dropping to zero on the second and fifth day of the blockade. Simultaneously, the maximum induction of caspase 32 was observed in the pituitary gland. We believe that these results may help to clarify a role of the pituitary gland in the thyroid blockade. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.


Patent
Russian Railways | Date: 2010-02-17

The inventive two-unit gas-turbine locomotive comprises two traction units which are provided with bodies with a framework and a control cabin and powered trucks. A power unit consisting of a gas-turbine engine for rotating traction and auxiliary generators, an air-preparing device for the gas-turbine engine and auxiliary facilities are arranged in one unit. A tank for storing liquefied cryogenic gas fuel for the gas-turbine engine, an auxiliary diesel generator and auxiliary facilities are arranged in the other unit.; The tank for storing the liquefied cryogenic gas fuel is mounted on the framework in the body in such a way that the vertical projection of the center of gravity thereof coincides with the center of gravity of the remaining mass of the unit, wherein, for increasing technical safety, said container and the power unit are separated from the control cabins and the rear walls of the unit by means of insulated sections which are locked during the operation of the gas-turbine engine and contain the auxiliary facilities and the auxiliary diesel generator.


Patent
Russian Railways | Date: 2014-05-14

The invention relates to locomotive gas turbine engines which run on liquefied natural gas. The gas turbine arrangement comprises three pressure shafts. A high-pressure shaft is disposed above a low-pressure shaft and a medium-pressure shaft. A low-pressure compressor with an inlet duct is mounted on the low-pressure shaft and is connected by a shaft to a low-pressure turbine and by a gas connection via a channel to a medium-pressure turbine; the medium-pressure turbine is mounted on the medium-pressure shaft and is connected by a shaft to a first synchronous traction generator and by a channel to an intermediate combustion chamber; a high-pressure compressor is mounted on the high-pressure shaft and is connected by a shaft to a high-pressure turbine and by a channel to a main combustion chamber. The low-pressure compressor is equipped with a rotating guide vane driven by the unit, a by-pass valve is mounted on an intercooler, the main combustion chambers, connected by a channel to the high-pressure turbine, are situated in a regenerative heat exchanger, the high-pressure compressor is connected via a shaft and a reduction gear to a starter, and the high-pressure turbine is connected by a shaft to a second synchronous traction generator in order to make it possible for the gas turbine arrangement to run at no load and at light loads from the high-pressure valve only. The technical result of the invention is a significant reduction in the fuel consumption of the gas turbine arrangement at no load and at light loads, and the elimination of the need for an auxiliary diesel generator on the locomotive.


Patent
Russian Railways | Date: 2014-04-16

The invention relates to designs of locomotives running on a cryogenic fuel, in particular on liquefied natural gas. The inventive gas-turbine locomotive comprises two units each of them comprising a frame with a body, a control cab, bogies with traction electric motors, an electric equipment package with high-voltage chambers supplying power to the traction electric motors. The first unit accommodates a gas-turbine engine, a traction turbogenerator and a gas equipment package, and the other unit accommodates a cryogenic tank for liquefied natural gas and cryogenic equipment connected to the gas equipment package of the first unit. The body of the second unit of the inventive gas-turbine locomotive comprises a front compartment and a rear compartment with a frame open floor arranged therebetween. The cryogenic tank for liquefied natural gas is made removable and is installed on the frame open floor. A control cab is arranged in the front compartment, and the cryogenic equipment and the high-voltage chambers are arranged in the rear compartment.


News Article | August 18, 2015
Site: www.bloomberg.com

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ready to start replacing long-serving allies in his inner circle after the sudden departure of OAO Russian Railways chief Vladimir Yakunin as head of the country’s largest employer. Putin intends to bring in trusted younger people to shake up his team ahead of the 2018 presidential election as he seeks to drag Russia’s economy out of recession, an official said Tuesday, speaking on condition of anonymity because he isn’t authorized to discuss appointments. Yakunin’s exit marks “a radical change, a very strong breach in the balance of the inner circle,” Gleb Pavlovsky, a former political adviser to Putin, said by phone on Tuesday. It may be “a signal of the high level of instability at the top” of the regime, he said. Yakunin said by phone that his decade-long tenure as chief executive officer of the state railway operator, the second-largest in the world, was ended at a meeting with Putin. Blacklisted by the U.S. last year over Russia’s annexation of Crimea, the former Soviet diplomat was Putin’s neighbor in an elite collective of dachas, or country homes, founded in the mid-1990s outside St. Petersburg. He took charge of the rail company in June 2005 after working in the Russian Transport Ministry for about five years. “Life goes on,” said Yakunin, 67, who confirmed plans to seek a place in the Federation Council, the upper house of parliament, representing the Kaliningrad region. “It was his choice” to leave and become a senator, Putin told reporters during a visit to Sevastopol in Crimea on Tuesday. Yakunin was successful at the company and they’ll meet again when he returns from holiday, the president said. The most high-profile departure from within Putin’s inner circle since he returned for a third term as president in 2012 comes as Russia battles its first recession in six years. Wages and disposable incomes are falling amid plunging oil prices and a 45 percent slump in the ruble’s value against the dollar in the past year. “The inner circle has ceased to be a management tool” for Putin to run the country, Pavlovsky said. While the Kremlin previously relied on lavish funding for inefficient state companies, “now there is no money, which means they should be managed better and the railways are a glaring example.” State companies may lose more top officials in the fall as the Kremlin seeks to revive the economy by improving their performance, Igor Yurgens, vice president of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, said by phone on Tuesday. “Now they must work and not just be run by loyal people,” he said. “Otherwise, the economy will simply become catastrophic.” The need to avert economic collapse by raising efficiency may put “the titans of Putin’s circle at risk,” Igor Bunin, director of the Moscow-based Center for Political Technologies, said by phone on Tuesday. “He has a generation of younger, more effective people who can replace them.” Even seemingly “untouchable” figures such as Rosneft chief Igor Sechin and Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller are under pressure, Konstantin Gaaze, a Moscow-based political analyst, said by e-mail Tuesday. “If they are too pushy in asking for more help from the state budget, they can share Yakunin’s fate,” he said. Putin criticized Sechin publicly for the first time on Feb. 4 for changing his position on issues, including oil-tax breaks, since moving from the government as deputy prime minister to be Rosneft CEO. Gazprom may have spent $40 billion on unnecessary projects under Miller, who has led the energy giant since 2001, Vedomosti newspaper reported in July. Barred from borrowing in the West under sanctions, Russian Railways has been asking for billions of dollars in assistance from the state’s $75 billion National Wellbeing Fund. Yakunin said in March last year he was honored to be sanctioned by the U.S. authorities and has also said the measures weren’t hurting the company, which has almost 836,000 employees. Amid worsening tensions with the U.S. and the European Union over the conflict in Ukraine, Putin has shrunk his inner circle from dozens of confidants to a select group of security officials, two longtime associates said in January. The core group includes Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, Federal Security Service head Alexander Bortnikov, Foreign Intelligence Service chief Mikhail Fradkov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, according to Sergei Markov, a Kremlin-linked political analyst. Yakunin’s potential successors may include Putin’s aide on transportation, Igor Levitin, and Oleg Sienko, CEO of Russian tank maker Uralvagonzavod, according to two people familiar with the situation, who asked not to be identified discussing appointments. Other candidates may include Russian Railways deputy chief Alexander Misharin and Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich, who chairs its board, as well as the company’s former chairman Kirill Androsov, Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov or his first deputy Oleg Belozerov, officials close to the company said. Residents of the Kaliningrad region, a Russian exclave on the Baltic Sea wedged between Poland and Lithuania, will vote on Sept. 13 in gubernatorial elections, according to the regional administration’s website. Acting Governor Nikolai Tsukanov, who is running in the election, has said he plans to nominate Yakunin as a senator should he win, RIA Novosti news service reported.

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