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Economics adviser calls EES a 'National Shame'

Speaking at the Baikal Economic Forum in Irkutsk, Andrei Illarionov, economic-policy adviser to President Vladimir Putin, lashed out at Unified Energy Systems (EES) and its head, Anatolii Chubais, RTR and other Russian news agencies reported on 19 September. Illarionov said that incompetence and lack of professionalism in the EES management has led to a critical situation in the country's largest monopoly.

Over the last 18 months, EES shares have dropped 60 percent and the company has lost $6 billion in assets and market capitalization, Illarionov said. He described the situation as "a national disaster and a national shame" and said that it indicates management's disregard for its shareholders -- including its biggest shareholder, the state. "Four years managing a company is enough time to show what is what," Illarionov said. In any other country, he added, the management of such a company would resign.

EES board member Andrei Trapeznikov was quoted by "The Moscow Times" as saying that "management has made some miscalculations," but that the company's operations are sound. Trapeznikov said Illarionov is "incompetent in this subject."

(RFE/RL 20.ix.02)

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