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Putin Says RusHydro CEO Must Investigate Missing Funds

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said OAO RusHydro, the nation’s biggest renewable energy producer, needs to investigate the disappearance of “billions of rubles” during a construction project in Moscow.

RusHydro’s loss came after the company’s builder for the Zagorskaya pumped-storage hydropower station in the Moscow region hired contractors with no real staff or infrastructure, Putin told RusHydro Chief Executive Officer Yevgeny Dod during an energy commission meeting with industry leaders today outside Moscow. Dod said he was investigating the situation with the Interior Ministry, according to a transcript posted on the website of state television Rossiya 24.

“You should be fighting with your teeth to recover these funds,” Putin told Dod, according to the transcript. “Billions just evaporated and you are still investigating and you don’t think it’s necessary to protect the interests of the company.”

An e-mail and a phone call to RusHydro’s spokeswoman Elena Vishnyakova after hours in Moscow were not immediately answered.

State-run RusHydro rose 2.9 percent today on Russia’s Micex Index, the most since Dec. 10. The company’s American depositary receipts jumped 2.6 percent to $2.37 in New York, the steepest one-day advance since Jan. 16.

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