Engineer, Billionaire and
Vice President of Russia's YUKOS Oil Company
Exclusives Archive YUKOS RM First VP Mikhail Brudno answers questions from journalists at a press conference in Lithuania on 20 August 2002
BRUDNO: Today, we provided the Government with information about the deal we reached with Williams, and we are waiting for the Government to give us its reactions and its decision as soon as possible. This will allow us to complete the deal more quickly and to finalize the transfer of authority. We intend to carry on with the reconstruction of the enterprise, to make Mažeikiu Nafta products comply with EU standards and meet the demands of the market, so that the enterprise can move ahead and become profitable. We can offer advantages in moving Mažeikiu Nafta forward rapidly.
QUESTION: Is it ethical to be making yet another take-it-or-leave-it offer to the Government?
BRUDNO: The rights of the Government in the event that one of the shareholders wants to sell its stake were prescribed in detail in previously adopted agreements. The Government fought hard for these rights, and our actions today in no way impinge on the rights of the Government as a shareholder.
QUESTION: Don’t you think that working in Lithuania will be a difficult proposition, given today’s announcement by the President of Lithuania?
BRUDNO: We do not think that our work in Lithuania – or in any other region – is going to be a bed of roses. There will always be complications, there will always be problems; our job is to solve them.
QUESTION: What do you intend to do differently at Mažeikiu Nafta?
BRUDNO: We believe that our experience in working on the market and our capabilities will allow us to keep costs down more effectively. We will have more room for maneuver when it comes to how much to load the refinery itself and the port in order to maximize efficiency.
QUESTION: Will the agreement with BP remain in effect?
BRUDNO: This is a topic that will need to be studied in greater detail.
QUESTION: Will YUKOS agree to buy half the shares if the Government buys the other half, and if so, what will happen with the operating rights in this case?
BRUDNO: Our deal is based on existing agreements and does not envision their being amended. If the Government wishes to acquire half of the shares, there won’t be any objection from us.
QUESTION: Had there been any talk about selling the shares during your trip to Lithuania in June of last year?
BRUDNO: We did not discuss it. Therefore, there wasn’t any talk about it either.
QUESTION: Are you going to have people from Russia working at Mažeikiu Nafta, or will you be relying on local specialists?
BRUDNO: I can only say that we will put together the best possible team of managers that we can to work at Mažeikiu Nafta and to move and develop the enterprise. And we will not give any preferences – or, on the contrary, deny any rights – on the basis of citizenship, gender, or religion.