Central Europe Activ

Oleg Deripaska – the Russian aluminium king, who is supposed to meet the latest British party finance scandalists in Corfu this summer – may shut down Aluminium Plant Podgorica, which gives a half of Montenegro’s export capacity. It’s not only his business.

Here is the story from the new Montenegrin Blogactiv blog. I believe in private property, and I have nothing to say if Mr Derpaska is closing down his own business if he looses money on it – those people who had sold the plan could have been more careful. I just do not like the fact when a sovereign state is so much dependent on a single person’s decision.

The story is that as world aluminium prices have plummeted, the plant can only make a profit if it gets subsidies electricity from the government. (Aluminium production is one of the most polluting businesses, and it is one of the most energy-intensive, too).

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  1. I believe you are right when you say… “I do not like the fact when a sovereign state is so much dependent on a single person’s decision”. But, unfortunately, world’s reality is that many poor countries are dependable on one, two or more private companies who own those “banana states”. Of course, for all of us is more painful to see that happening in the center of Europe…

  2. Cuve Pas! If you sleep with dogs you catch fleas!!
    Oleg Deripaska, Peter Munk, and Nathaniel Rothschild own most of Crna Gora’s GDP and its exports, they got independence for Milo Djukanovic and they keep him in power today.
    “Indeed, today, after its ‘independence’, Montenegro is nicknamed ‘Moscow by the Mediterranean.’ Russian oligarchs control huge chunks of the country’s industry and prized coastline–and Russians exert a powerful influence over the country’s political culture. ‘Montenegro is almost a new Russian colony, as rubles flow in to buy property and business in the tiny state’, Denis MacShane, Tony Blair’s former Europe minister, wrote in Newsweek in June.”
    “By mid-2005 Deripaska had already virtually taken control of Montenegro’s economy by snapping up its aluminum plant, KAP–which accounts for up to 40 percent of the country’s GDP and some 80 percent of its export earnings–in a nontransparent privatization tender strongly criticized by NGO watchdogs, Montenegrin politicians and journalists. The Nation has learned that Deripaska told one of his closest associates that he bought the plant ‘because Putin encouraged him to do it.’ The reason: ‘the Kremlin wanted an area of influence in the Mediterranean.’
    In mid-2005 Ambassador Richard Sklar, the former lead US official in the Balkans, ceased advising the Montenegrin government (he’d worked as a pro bono adviser after leaving the US diplomatic service) when it became clear the plant was being handed to Deripaska under heavy Russian pressure. ‘I quit because it was a bad deal, not for any political reasons. The Russians scared all the other buyers off. They offered far too little money and got themselves a sweetheart deal.’ ”
    see http://www.thenation.com/doc/20081020/ames_berman for full story of how Putin bought Crna Gora on the cheap.
    Crna Gora is now just a client satellite of the Russian wolf, Milo Djukanovic is Putin’s little poodle.
    Should be fun in the EU when Crna Gora gets accession in 2012 – Russia’s entree to the EU and the West;-) It trumps Ukraine and Georgia joining NATO any day………….

  3. Chris Stephen, I don’t like what you say but it makes sense. Although I think the Russian bet is on Serbia. Sovereignty has become a commodity in the past decade.

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