Russian president’s aide to control nuclear fuel production and export

On October 22, one of Putin’s trusted aides, Sergei Prikhodko, was appointed as a new chairman of the TVEL Corporation, Russia’s sole nuclear fuel trader. Prikhodko, who has served as a foreign policy counsellor to Putin, has been working in the Kremlin since 1997, MosNews reported.

TVEL has a 17 percent share of the global nuclear fuel market. It supplies fuel to 75 nuclear reactors worldwide, including plants in former Soviet republics and in Eastern Europe. It is also preparing to start shipments to China, Iran and India.

Appointment of Prikhodko seem to follow the tradition that emerged in the last few months. “Installing Vladimir Putin’s closest people as managers of Russian state energy companies has become traditional practice,” the liberal Kommersant daily wrote on October 23, following Prikhodko’s appointment.

Earlier this year MosNews reported that Igor Sechin and Vladislav Surkov, also trusted aides of Putin, were appointed to chair state-owned Rosneft Oil Company and pipeline firm Transnefteprodukt, respectively. In addition, Dmitry Medvedev, Putin’s chief of staff, serves as the chairman of the state-controlled natural gas monopoly Gazprom.