Former French Prime Minister Fillon joins the board of Russian petrochemical company Sibur

December 24, 2021

FILE PHOTO: Former French Prime Minister François Fillon shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a meeting outside Moscow, Russia, on December 5, 2018. Sputnik / Mikhail Klimentyev / Kremlin via REUTERS

MOSCOW, Dec 24 (Reuters) – Former French Prime Minister François Fillon has joined the board of directors of Russia’s largest petrochemical producer Sibur, the company reported.

Large Russian companies frequently employ high-ranking former European politicians to leverage their ties and influence.

Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder is chairman of the shareholders’ meeting of the Nord Stream gas pipeline company, while Russian energy giant Rosneft appointed former Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl to its board earlier this year.

The Kremlin has said that Fillon, who was prime minister during Nicolas Sarkozy’s presidency from 2007 to 2012, has had “pretty good relations” with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Sibur, which is privately owned, is the largest petrochemical producer in Eastern Europe. You’ve been planning an IPO for a while.

Its main shareholders are Leonid Mikhelson, head and main shareholder of Russia’s largest liquefied natural gas producer Novatek, and businessman Gennady Timchenko, a close ally of Putin.

(Report by Vladimir Soldatkin; editing by Kirsten Donovan; translated by Darío Fernández)