March 22, 2018 / 11:54 AM / a month ago

Putin relative nominated to management board of gas giant Gazprom

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A relative of Russian President Vladimir Putin has been nominated for a senior position in the state-owned gas giant Gazprom.

A view shows the company logo of Gazprom company installed on the roof of its office building in Moscow, August 10, 2015. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

In a brief financial disclosure on Thursday, Gazprom, the world’s largest natural gas producer, said its board would consider the issue “of M.E. Putin”, without giving further details.

The formulation is usually used by Gazprom in reference to a discussion about nominating a new management board member, or removing an existing board member. There is currently no one called Putin on the board.

Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, confirmed that it did concern a relative of Putin.

“As far as I know, he is a distant relative of the president. I don’t know if they have any interaction,” Peskov told a daily conference call with journalists.

Mikhail Putin is a son of the president’s cousin, Interfax news agency reported. Gazprom declined to comment on his possible position in the company.

Gazprom has a vacancy on its management board after Alexander Kozlov, who was in charge of the company’s logistics and procurement, died last December aged 65.

Mikhail Putin has been on the management board of insurance company Sogaz, the main insurer of Gazprom, since 2008.

Information about the president’s family is closely guarded from the public eye by Putin, a former head of Russia’s FSB secret service. He keeps his two daughters, Maria and Katerina, as well as his grandchildren, away from exposure to the media.

Putin has said he wants them to lead normal lives.

Reuters reported in 2015, citing sources who know her, that Katerina was using the surname Tikhonova, inherited from her grandmother.

Katerina Tikhonova runs publicly-funded projects at Moscow State University and serves as the vice president for expansion and marketing of the World Rock’n’Roll Confederation.

Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin and Polina Nikolskaya; editing by David Evans

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