September 22, 2008 / 2:16 PM / 11 years ago

Russian reformer Chubais becomes Rosnanotech head

MOSCOW, Sept 22 (Reuters) - Anatoly Chubais, one of Russia’s main supporters of market-friendly reforms and the former chief of now-defunct power monopoly UES, was on Monday appointed as the head of state-owned nanotechnology firm Rosnanotech.

In two decrees Russian President Dmitry Medvedev announced the new appointment and the replacement of previous Rosnanotech head Leonid Melamed, who is also the chief executive of Russia’s leading services conglomerate AFK Sistema (SSAq.L).

Rosnanotech, also known as Nanotechnology Corporation, is one of several organisations created last year to jump-start investment in infrastructure and non-energy sectors.

It has received 130 billion roubles ($5.10 billion) of budget funds.

Chubais’s old firm, UES or Unified Energy System, was formed in the early 1990s as a stopgap between the Soviet command system and privatisation.

With its assets sold or spun off, and a liberalised domestic power market in the works, it ceased to exist earlier this year.

News of his impending appointment at Rosnanotech was reported in Russian business daily Vedomosti last month, which said Chubais’s challenge will be to help transform the Russian economy with a shift of focus from resources to innovation. (Reporting by Olga Popova; Writing by Toni Vorobyova; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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