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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Lebed Intervenes in Achinsk Dispute

Alexander Lebed, governor of Siberia's Krasnoyarsk region, has failed to resolve a conflict over the management of Russia's biggest alumina producer, Achinsk Alumina Combine, Lebed's press service said Friday.

It said in a statement Lebed had to leave Achinsk after hours of fruitless negotiations Wednesday with Achinsk's former external manager Nail Nasyrov, who was suspended last week under a ruling by the Supreme Arbitration Court in Moscow. Workers at Achinsk, which is bankrupt, forced the plant's newly appointed external manager, Sergei Kodyrev, out of the plant Tuesday, after which police were sent in to keep order.

"In this situation the governor is obliged to activate all mechanisms to guarantee what the law requires, especially taking into account the fact that there have been attempts to provoke mass disorder," the statement said.

It did not elaborate on what action Lebed may take, but a press service spokeswoman, talking by telephone from Krasnoyarsk, said the authorities did not plan to use force.

"The police and OMON [riot police] are there to maintain order, as is normal when there are mass demonstrations," she said. The spokeswoman said she had no information on clashes between police and plant workers. The plant's telephones were not answering Friday.

Lebed nominated Kodyrev, his adviser on the non-ferrous metals industry, as external manager to replace Nasyrov.

The plant's workers staged protests, saying they were happy with Nasyrov's management and did not want Kodyrev or a previous former manager, Gleb Fetisov, a representative of Alfa-Eko, the trading arm of banking group Alfa, who was rumored to be about to return as manager. Russian newspapers published Friday an announcement signed by Fetisov saying that an Achinsk creditors meeting, scheduled for Saturday, would be postponed.

But an Alfa-Eko spokesman said it had nothing to do with the announcement published on Fetisov's own initiative. "Fetisov must have acted on the supposition that his rights as external manager had effectively been restored by the supreme court's decision," the spokesman said.