Profile: Alexey Miller
Updated July 15, 2018 by Yevgeniy Titov and Ilya Zaslavskiy
Reported links with Communist party, KGB or organised crime:
– He is an old confidant and direct protege of Russian President Vladimir Putin;
– He was involved in the operation of changing of the owners of OJSC "Sea Port of St. Petersburg" controlled by Tambovskaya organized crime group. During that operation at least 8 people were killed;
– He was a participant of the corrupt activities of Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg as his deputy, reportedly including collection of bribes;
– When working in the St. Petersburg government he was considered as an officer of the special services, and also had an acquaintance with a former employee of the special services of the German Democratic Republic.
- In Gazprom and its subsidiaries, he has reportedly promoted his distant relatives, and close associates, including Kirill Seleznev who is implicated in multiple corruption deals within Gazprom.
Undermining effect on democracy:
– As a hired manager implements policy of Russia’s pressure on the European Union in the sphere of Russian gas supplies;
– Heads the Board of Directors of Gazprom-Media Holding which controls dozens of TV channels and radio stations dispersing aggressive propaganda;
– Carries out the policy of intimidation and cooptation of Kremlin on private owners of the oil and gas sector in Russia and abroad.
Key bio and links with kleptocracies
From 1991 to 1996 he worked in the Committee for External Relations of the St. Petersburg City Hall. The chairman of the committee was Vladimir Putin. Alexey Miller served as the head of the department, deputy head of the department, deputy chairman of the Committee.
Igor Sechin, now the head of Rosneft corporation, worked under the leadership of Putin in the same structure.
Among other things, Miller's work included the compilation of detailed psychological dossiers on business partners. According to the online media, he was considered to be a freelance employee of the special services among his colleagues.
According to the Leningrad businessman, when Vladimir Putin was handed cash bribes, Alexey Miller served as treasurer, and subsequently performed related assignments. After publication, this information was not disproved.
He was engaged in the development of urban investment zones, due to which in St. Petersburg were built factories "Coca-Cola", "Gilette", "Baltika". The appearance of the bank "Lyonsky credit" and "Dresdner Bank" in the city is also associated wit them.
In 1996, when Putin left for Moscow, Miller moved to OJSC "Sea Port of St. Petersburg". He held the post of port's Director for Development and Investment.
At the same time he worked in ABIP - Association of Banks Investing in Port. Businessman Maxim Freidzon assures that in these structures Alexey Miller "was in the position of plenipotentiary and overseer for the share of the owner," meaning Putin's share.
In 1997-98, when Putin was already working in the presidential administration and then headed the FSB, the port of St. Petersburg was sold to Moscow structures. As the businessman Freydzon said, the sale took place on the initiative of Putin, whereas in St. Petersburg the group, which included Miller, helped him. At the same time, at least eight people who resisted the deal were killed.
Subsequently, Miller was headed by CJSC Baltic Pipeline System (BPS). Vladimir Putin helped to take this position to Miller.
In 2000, when Putin became the president of Russia, Alexei Miller was appointed to the position of deputy Russian minister of energy. A year later, in 2001, Alexey Miller was elected as chairman of the board of OAO Gazprom. He is also the Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors of Gazprom.
In addition, now he holds leading positions in the structures affiliated with Gazprom: he heads the Board of Directors of Gazprombank,
and the Board of Directors of Gazprom-Media Holding.
"Gazprom": crowding private business out
According to Vedomosti newspaper, before the Alexei Miller’s election, Vladimir Putin exerted pressure on members of the Gazprom Board of Directors. At the same time, there is a doubt about the legality of the election procedure.
A number of media have linked Miller's appointment with Putin's desire to gain control over the corporation.
In 2001, Vladimir Putin publicly announced that Gazprom should gain control over the private petrochemical company Sibur, whose shares Gazprom owned in part.
Soon the head of Sibur company Yakov Goldovsky was detained in Alexey Miller's waiting room and arrested for 7 months, being accused of abuse of authority.
As a result, Goldovsky transferred the remaining shares of Sibur to the structures of Gazprom for $ 96 million, after which he was released.
Later, Gazprom Corporation, using leverage, regained control over the companies Vostokgazprom, Zapsibgazprom and Nortgaz. In addition, the assets of Itera, which was responsible for gas supply to the CIS country, were returned to the ownership of the corporation at a lower price. In general, during the 15 years of Gazprom's work its capitalization has grown 219 times.
In 2005, minority shareholders of Yukos filed a lawsuit in Washington's district court, accusing Alexei Miller of attempting to illegally nationalize Yukos.
The results of the case were not publicly reported. Later, a similar claim by the shareholders of Yukos was satisfied by the Court of Arbitration of The Hague, and as a result, Gazprom announced the threat of seizure of its assets.
However, in 2016 the District Court of The Hague canceled the decision.
According to the Vedomosti newspaper, the managing staff of Gazprom Elena Kasyan and the chief financial officer of the company Andrei Kruglov are relatives of Alexei Miller. Miller himself refuted these facts.
Also known about the construction firm VIS, which received the contracts of PJSC Gazprom, increased its profit by 1000 times and became the largest company in Russia. Close relatives of those who are part of the management of a subsidiary of Gazprom were in its Board of Directors.
In addition, in 2010 the structure of Gazprom sold 12% of the shares of Bank Rossiya. At that time, the value of the shares was about 10 billion rubles. ($ 175 mn). However, the shares were sold at a price of half that, causing Gazprom 5 billion rubles ($ 87, 5 million).
The buyer of shares was a relative of a member of the Board of Directors of Gazprom. According to experts of the newspaper Vedomosti, the private beneficiary of this deal was probably Alexei Miller by himself.
A similar story is connected with the company Gazprom neftekhim Salavat (GNS) - one of the largest petrochemical complex in Russia. Gazprom bought it, then immediately sold it at a similar price, but then bought back the shares, at a lower price. Aaccording to Novaya Gazeta, Gazprom lost about 5 billion rubles on the deal ($ 87, 5 million). Further shares were bought through a network of firms by Ivan Mironov, a relative of Alexey Miller's assistant. Then the shares suddenly and inexplicably soared in price and were redeemed again by Gazprom. Private sellers, including a relative of the assistant, received a profit of about 21 billion rubles ($ 367.7 million).
A case with Transinvestgaz company is also known. The company received a loan from Gazprom, acquired gas from a foreign company and sold it at an overpriced price back to the Gazprom. As a result, Gazprom was damaged in 2 billion rubles (approximately $ 69.7 million at the then rate), which is why the Moscow police opened a criminal case. However, Gazprom refused to recognize itself as a victim, and the case did not continue.
In 2014, the chief of one of the regional divisions of Gazprom reported on embezzlement in the company. According to him, 700 million rubles ($ 4 million) was unreasonably paid for repair of gas pipelines and roads. The information was sent to the Investigative Committee and the FSB.
However, the criminal case was not instituted, and the employee was dismissed.
Undermining activity in the West
In 2011, European companies of Gazprom – German Gazprom Germania, E. ON and RWE, Polish PGNiG, Czech Vemex, Lithuanian Lietuvos dujos – were searched. The reason for the searches were accusations of unfair competition. Thus, the European Commission accused the firm Gazprom Germania of price collusion and abuse of influence.
On 6 April 2018 added by U.S. government to SDN list as part of sanctions against Russian officials that are close to Vladimir Putin and are involved in the operations of his regime.
Minority stakes: (49% -):
Miller owns 0.00095828 stake of Gazprom shares (as of June 2017)
A palace on the shore of the Istra Reservoir in the Moscow suburbs is connected to Alexey Miller. The estate area is more than 30 hectares, and the complex is similar to the Great Peterhof Palace in St. Petersburg,
and that is why it is called in the press as Millerhof. The total value of land and buildings is estimated at $ 43 million.
A representative of Gazprom said that the company was not in charge of the construction.
However, the magazine Sobesednik found that the estate owned by the All-Russian Farm Center, whose founder is the structure of Gazprom.
It is noteworthy that in addition to this manor, the All-Russian Farm Center owns four more palaces located in the neighborhood. The total area of these palaces is more than 4 thousand square meters.
It is also known that in 2015, Alexey Miller acquired a personal floor of a house in the center of St. Petersburg. It's area is 400 square meters, and the cost is estimated to 600 million rubles (up to $ 10.5 million).