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Sibneft seems to have strengthened its hand in the race for control of state-owned Slavneft, following the appointment of former Sibneft executive Yuri Sukhanov as president of the firm. Sukhanov was backed by premier Mikhail Kasyanov, although the interior ministry has recently launched an investigation against the new chief.
Industry sources suggest the development is evidence of the continuing political and economic influence of the "family" of cronies that surrounded former president Boris Yeltsin (see p2). Sibneft core shareholder Roman Abramovich was a key "family" member and Kasyanov is seen as having close links with the group.
Abuse of power