Russian media tycoon Boris A. Berezovsky looked as though he had won the booby prize when he was named to run the Commonwealth of Independent States, the tattered alliance of 12 former Soviet republics. The Apr. 29 appointment, say pundits, was designed to keep him out of Russian President Boris N. Yeltsin's hair. But Berezovsky may get the last laugh--and his business interests a big boost.
His Logovaz company, the exclusive Russian dealer for Daewoo autos made in Uzbekistan, would benefit from lower CIS customs barriers. He has a major stake in Aeroflot Russian International Airlines, which wants to expand in the CIS. With Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., Berezovsky recently bought telecommunications holdings in Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. The venture could precede a push into satellite TV.