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Putin Gives Chechnya An Oil Company

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has ordered the transfer of ownership of the federal state-held company controlling Chechnya’s oil refining and petrochemical industry to the Chechen authorities.

Chechen strongman and leader Ramzan Kadyrov has been seeking for years to have Chechnya own the company, according to Russian media.

Putin’s decree from Tuesday orders the transfer of 100 percent of the federal government’s ownership in the company Chechenneftekhimprom to Chechnya, with the purpose to develop industrial production in the Chechen republic and use the company’s assets more efficiently.

The government of the Russian Federation has two months from September 18 to ensure the handover of the federal government’s ownership to Chechnya, says the decree that Putin signed.

Kadyrov first requested from Putin the handover of Chechenneftekhimprom to Chechnya in 2015, Russian news outlet RBC reports. Kadyrov asked Putin at the time to transfer Chechenneftekhimprom to Chechnya in a letter, in which he pointed out that the company’s potential unconnected with oil refining is virtually unused.

Rosimushchestvo, Russia’s Federal Agency for State Property Management, has owned Chechenneftekhimprom so far, while state-held oil giant Rosneft has been operating the company’s assets. In his plea to Putin, Kadyrov said in 2015 that the handover of the company to Chechnya would not hurt Rosneft’s interests.

Ramzan Kadyrov, the leader of the Chechen republic, has been under sanctions from the United States over abuse of human rights.

The U.S. Treasury designated in December 2017 Ramzan Kadyrov “for being responsible for extrajudicial killing, torture, or other gross violations of internationally recognized human rights committed against individuals seeking to expose illegal activity carried out by officials of the Government of the Russian Federation, or to obtain, exercise, defend, or promote internationally recognized human rights and freedoms, such as the freedoms of religion, expression, association, and assembly, and the rights to a fair trial and democratic elections, in Russia.”

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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