Russia's Chigirinsky leaves businesses - paper

MOSCOW, March 30 (Reuters) - Russian oil and real estate development tycoon Shalva Chigirinsky has given up his main Russian businesses and left the country for the United States, Vedomosti newspaper reported on Monday.

Chigirinsky lost his post as president of the Moscow Oil & Gas Company (MNGK) to a nominee of the Moscow city government, which co-owns the Moscow refinery operator with Chigirinsky's Sibir Energy SBE.L, Vedomosti said quoting a source close to the refinery.

Vedomosti said that the Moscow government has nominated as his replacement Viktor Shevchuk, former general director of ChernomorNefteGaz, which is developing four oil and gas deposits on the Black Sea and Azov Sea shelf.

The Moscow mayor’s spokesman Sergei Tsoi confirmed to Vedomosti that Chigirinsky was dismissed. Tsoi was not immediately available to comment on the report.

The newspaper quoted a source in the mayor’s office as saying Chigirinsky was in the United States.

MNGK spokesman Nikolay Frolov told Reuters the city government had made no official announcements to the company.

“At the moment, we have got no official documents on an MNGK management change. Nobody introduced Shevchuk to the staff,” he said.

Sibir declined immediate comment.

Vedomosti also quoted a source in the mayor’s office as saying that Chigirinsky has handed over his development projects, which make up the majority of his asset portfolio, to his brother Alexander.

Chigirinsky’s main development projects included construction of Russia Tower, a 6OO-metre (1,970 foot) skyscraper designed by UK architect Norman Foster to be Europe’s tallest building. The construction was halted last year due to lack of funding. (Reporting by Tanya Mosolova; Editing by Erica Billingham)