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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Government Appointee Denied Entry to Transneft

Semyon Vainshtok, appointed new president of the Russian crude oil pipeline monopoly Transneft on Tuesday, was denied entry to the company's premises Wednesday, Transneft spokesman Andrei Vazhnov said.

"Vainshtok, accompanied by [Deputy Energy Minister] Vladimir Stanev, paid a visit to the company's headquarters today, but as he did not have a pass, he had to leave," Vazhnov said.

On Tuesday, Vladimir Savelyev was sacked from the post of Transneft president by First Deputy Prime Minister Nikolai Aksyonenko, and replaced by Vainshtok, vice president of oil giant LUKoil.

But Savelyev said he considered the attempt to remove him illegal and would not relinquish his post. He also said that he would not allow anyone to enter the company's premises without a valid pass.

Savelyev said at a news briefing Wednesday he had launched an appeal against the decision to remove him in a local court.

He also said he expected Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to reverse the decision taken by his subordinates.

"I hope Vladimir Vladimirovich [Putin] will find the time and will punish those who are guilty in this situation," Savelyev said.

Putin returned to Moscow on Tuesday from a summit in New Zealand.

Aksyonenko, acting as the head of the government in Putin's absence, ordered Savelyev's removal Monday.

Savelyev said that the government controlled only 75 percent of Transneft, while the government acted on a supposition that it was 100 percent owned by the state.

He said that around 10,000 holders of preference shares in Transneft, who have voting rights, had not been given the opportunity to vote.

Alexander Bendick, Transneft vice president, said that 2.5 percent to 2.7 percent of shares were privately owned.

The remaining shares have been arrested by the Prosecutor General's Office as part of an investigation into whether their sale was illegal.