Putin instructed to check the situation with the Bashkir soda company

27 August 2020

Vladimir Putin called the situation of the Bashkir soda company (BSC) and Shihan of Kushtau a "sad story".

At a meeting with members of the government, the President noted that the controlling stake in Bashkir Soda Company belongs to private owners.

"Considering that the company’s total revenue in 2019 was about 45 billion rubles, only 2.5 billion was invested.   Where did the money go?  It went to offshore accounts, of course," he said.

Putin expressed regret that the money earned does not remain in the region. He demanded to check the legality of reducing the state debt in BSC. According to the head of state,  in 2013, through consolidation, the state’s share dropped below the controlling stake from 62 to 38 percent.

"As a result, the company’s priorities have changed.  It does not look like the company’s long-term development is the shareholders’ current goal. It appears that their goal is to siphon off as much money as possible, no matter the implications," he noted.

Putin instructed the Government and the Republic’s administration to thoroughly investigate the situation and propose solutions.

The people who noticed what was happening and expressed their distrust must be right, the president believes.

The press service of the Prosecutor General's office has already reported that they have started checking the alienation of state shares.
It is assumed that the results will resolve the issue of measures to return the property complex to the state. The inspection is under the personal control of the head of the Department, Igor Krasnov.



"We will find the optimal solution"

The head of Bashkiria, Radiy Khabirov, said that the privatization of BSC caused significant damage to the region.

"I am extremely grateful to the President for supporting the desire of the Republic and the people to understand the obviously unfair and illegal deal," he said.

Khabirov expressed hope that justice will prevail in the near future.

"We are currently working on solutions to the raw material problem and will find the optimal solution," the press service quotes him as saying.

The protests on the Shihan of Kushtau

On Shikhan of Kushtau in the Ishimbay district of Bashkiria, on August 15 and 16, environmental activists protested over the development of the mountain by the BSC . Khabirov arrived and promised to suspend all work until a compromise was reached, and the protesters dispersed.

Kushtau is one of the mountains in the chain of four Shihans near the Bashkir city of Sterlitamak. On its slope there are ski trails, a recreation center and children's camps. In 2018, the Bashkir Soda Company said that the company may stop production after 2022 due to a lack of raw materials. In Soviet times it was developing one of the four Shihan of Sahtau, later it practically disappeared.

In December 2019, Khabirov said that he allowed the company to develop Kushtau, so as not to leave a thousand residents of Sterlitamak without work. In August of this year, the management of the BSC appealed to the police, saying that pickets of public activists interfere with deforestation in Kushtau.


GSV "Russia - Islamic World"

Photo: official website of the President of the Russian Federation

Based on materials from RIA Novosti