MOSCOW May 6 Russian search engine Yandex
has nominated state-run Sberbank CEO German
Gref as a new non-executive board member, the company said on
Tuesday, suggesting he could help protect its interests amid
fears of a crackdown on the internet.
Gref, a former economy minister credited with wrenching
Russia's biggest bank out of the Soviet era, is being nominated
for a three-year term staring on May 21, the day of the annual
shareholders meeting, Yandex said in a statement.
"Yandex is developing fast, and German Gref's knowledge and
experience of successful management of one of Russia's biggest
companies would serve us well," the press service of Yandex,
which is Russia's most popular search engine, said in what it
called an official commentary.
"Also, in recent years the process of regulation of the
Internet has been developing actively, and the Yandex team and
the internet industry as a whole are increasingly in need of
lobbying. German Gref's expertise in this area would be useful
for Yandex," it said.
President Vladimir Putin signed a law on Monday that will
impose stricter rules on bloggers and is seen by critics as an
attempt to stifle dissent on the Internet.
Last month, Putin said the Internet was a CIA project and
suggested there was too much foreign influence on Yandex, which
is registered in the Netherlands.
(Reporting by Megan Davies and Anastasia Teterevleva; Writing
by Steve Gutterman, editing by William Hardy)