Analysis: Evans and Russia's oil patch
By Peter Lavelle
"MOSCOW, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- Former U.S. Commerce Secretary Don Evans, who is a close friend of U.S. President Bush, is reported to have been offered the job of chairman of the Russian state oil company Rosneft ahead of its initial public offering next year. Bringing Evans on board may help improve the oil giant's damaged reputation in the wake of the Yukos affair, but is it enough for investors?
The Russian business daily Kommersant Tuesday reported Evans met with several top Russian officials during a trip to Moscow last week, and with President Vladimir Putin on Dec. 7. The daily says Putin offered Evans the post of head of Rosneft's board of directors. At the time of writing, neither the company nor Evans commented on the report.
If the news is confirmed and Evans takes up the post, his duties would apparently include improving Rosneft's attractiveness to the Western investment community and to potential shareholders. This will not be an easy task."