Russian Economy Minister Elvira Nabiullina has said that her Ministry takes a ‘super-tough position on large-scale privatization’: the privatization of energy companies must be inevitable; the timing must be fixed and followed except for the stock market crash.

Privatisation is seen as a way to replenish the treasury. The original plan has been to raise from the sale of state companies in the period 2011-2013 at least $30 billion. By 2017, the government intends to withdraw from the capital of a number of public companies, including Rosneft, Inter RAO UES, VTB, Sheremetyevo Airport, Sovcomflot, Agricultural Bank and the United Grain Company, leaving to itself only a ‘golden share’.

De facto Mrs Nabiullina has openly admitted that there is no unity in the government on the matter of privatization. In December last year, Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin sent a letter to Vladimir Putin in which he proposed to halt privatization because of the unpredictable situation on the capital markets.