Ex-president of Rusnano Anatoly Chubais emigrated from Russia.
Photo: Mikhail FROLOV
“WHY THE FUCK DOES HE NEED THIS?”
– I don’t understand why he ran away? You see, it may also be due to the fact that complex processes are taking place in this structure of nanotechnology, which he headed for many years, and there is a big hole there, a huge financial hole. I won’t even name numbers now, big numbers. Maybe he is afraid that in the end this will all lead to some kind of criminal cases, which is why he even went illegal in Israel,” he replied Vladimir Putin to the question about emigration Anatoly Chubais, which he was asked at the Eastern Economic Forum on September 12.
According to Putinhe was recently shown a “photo from the Internet” in which the ex-head of Rusnano “is no longer Anatoly Borisovich Chubais, but some Moshe Izrailevich.”
“Why the hell does he need this, I honestly don’t understand,” Putin added. And he said that Chubais’s activities at the head of Rusnano “obviously failed” from either an economic or financial point of view.
Well, it’s been a long time since we talked about “who is to blame for everything”! Vladimir Putin did not voice the “big numbers” illustrating the failure of Rusnano with Chubais at its head, but we will try. And at the same time, let us remind you of the glorious (actually not) adventures of the “father of privatization” in the last year and a half…
Let us recall that in the spring of last year, after the start of a special operation in Ukraine, Chubais suddenly left Russia. Appeared here and there. First he was seen in Israel, then in Istanbul, Italy, Latvia. In the age of smartphones, such a famous person cannot hide. Especially with such a concentration of Russian-speaking emigrants in all European countries.
And in the summer, an equally academic article by one “British scientist” was published in the academic journal “Problems of Economics.” Chubais was presented in this publication as an “independent researcher from Great Britain.” Namely, from Glasgow, Scotland. It turned out to be something like a memoir. In them, the reformer repented that he had not calculated all the risks of the reforms that led to the crisis of non-payments in the 90s. Then the whole country lived in barter conditions for several years, there was no money, no salaries were paid.
However, his memoirs – even in the form of a scientific article – about the mistakes he made during the years of managing Rusnano could be much more interesting. But this publication, apparently, will soon be made by the Prosecutor General’s Office. She is now checking the work of Rusnano from 2008 to 2020, when the company was headed by Chubais. Rusnano, which at one time received 130 billion rubles from the budget and almost complete carte blanche for any investments related to nanotechnology, almost went bankrupt two years ago. And all thanks to “effective” management.
For many years, the state corporation borrowed money, demonstrated successful cases and boasted of sky-high salaries and profits. But in reality all this turned out to be a profanation. Over the years, the corporation has borrowed almost 150 billion rubles. And the projects in which she invested did not bring normal returns.
Moreover, there were also frankly unsuccessful investments, when almost all the money invested was lost. Three of the most landmark examples: a polysilicon production plant in the Irkutsk region, the production of flexible tablets, and “the world’s largest plant for the production of lithium-ion batteries” in the Novosibirsk region. The total investment in these three projects amounted to about 30 billion rubles. And these losses had to be written off.
To be fair, Rusnano also had successful cases. For example, in the same Novosibirsk, a plant producing OCSiAl nanotubes is successfully operating with a capitalization of $2 billion. Two years ago, Rusnano accounted for 17% of the shares. But for the most part, investments were not very successful.
– The bet on nanotechnology, which was made in the “zero” years, did not work. There was no breakthrough in this area; everyone was busy with digitalization and artificial intelligence. It is there that today’s main innovations, money, profits are located, he explained a year and a half ago in an interview with KP.RU Dan Medovnikov, Director of the Institute of Innovation Management of the Higher School of Economics.
And specialization prevented the state corporation from investing in other projects. Rusnano had carte blanche for investment only in the field of nanotechnology. Investments in other sectors were carried out by other development institutions. Why the disruptive Chubais failed to change the vector will probably remain a mystery. Well, or we’ll wait for the next publication of the “Scottish professor” in the next issue of Economic Issues.
Be that as it may, the “Augean stables” left by Chubais are still being dismantled by the anti-crisis team. According to the latest reports of the state corporation, 82 billion rubles have been spent on debt servicing alone since 2021. But the new managers have already achieved positive results. For the first six months of 2023, Rusnano’s net profit amounted to 2.9 billion rubles. But it’s hard to believe in the “successes” of this corporation…
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