Russian energy minister Novak to become deputy Premier

By Olga Tanas and Evgenia Pismennaya on 11/9/2020

(Bloomberg) --Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak is set to be promoted to deputy prime minister amid a government reshuffle, while retaining his role as the oil-rich nation’s OPEC+ negotiator.

Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said Monday on state television that he asked the State Duma, the lower house of parliament controlled by the ruling party, to approve Novak as a new deputy. Nikolay Shulginov, the chief executive officer at state-controlled utility RusHydro PJSC, was proposed as the new energy minister.

Novak, 49, has led the Energy Ministry since 2012. He has represented Russia in talks with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, helping to forge historic links with the cartel, and will continue to be responsible for that relationship, said a government official familiar with the situation.

The OPEC+ alliance, with Saudi Arabia and Russia as its de facto leaders, has a significant influence over the world’s most important commodity. It agreed in April to make record curbs on production as the coronavirus pandemic battered oil demand.

Novak’s purview as deputy prime minister would include the Russian energy sector as well as other industries, RBC reported earlier today. Novak began his career in the Russian government in 2008 as a deputy finance minister, a role in which he worked on energy subsidies among other duties.

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