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Russia May Appoint Semyonov Svyazinvest CEO Despite Citizenship

OAO Rostelecom Deputy Chief Executive Officer Vadim Semyonov may be appointed head of OAO Svyazinvest, Russia’s state-controlled telecom holding, even though he holds dual citizenship, the Communications Ministry said.

Svyazinvest’s board will discuss appointing Semyonov at a Sept. 29 meeting, Communications Ministry spokeswoman Yelena Lashkina said today by phone. Semyonov is the only candidate nominated to replace Yevgeny Yurchenko, who tendered his resignation as head of Svyazinvest on Sept. 9, she said.

Semyonov’s Canadian citizenship may prevent him from becoming head of Svyazinvest because top executives in so-called strategic companies have access to state secrets, the Vedomosti newspaper said today.

“We don’t think it’s a problem, he underwent all necessary checks when joining Rostelecom,” Lashkina said. As head of Svyazinvest, Semyonov, 45, would oversee contacts with investors, which doesn’t require access to state secrets, she said. She confirmed Semyonov’s dual Canadian and Russian citizenship.

Semyonov was a former university classmate of President Dmitry Medvedev, the Kommersant newspaper said yesterday.

Svyazinvest shareholders may vote on the CEO on Nov. 13, said a company official who declined to be identified, citing corporate policy.

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