Russia's energy czar Sechin resigns from Rosneft
Russia's hugely powerful Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin on Monday resigned from his post as the board chairman of the state-controlled oil giant Rosneft, the company said.
The resignation of Russia's effective energy czar came as the country's largest oil company struggles to complete a stalled tie-up with Britain's BP energy firm.
Both the joint Arctic exploration and share-swap parts of the deal have been held up by a court injunction, with the companies now running up against a Thursday deadline to complete the transaction.
Analysts said that Sechin, a close ally of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, was instrumental in structuring the deal, which if finalised would be one of the largest investments in Russia's post-Soviet history.
The resignation also come less than two weeks after President Dmitry Medvedev announced plans to remove all government representatives from the boards of state-held companies in a move designed to improve transparency and foreign investment potential.
Sechin has been replaced at his post by Alexander Nekipelov, the vice president of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Rosneft said in a statement.
© 2011 AFP