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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

TNK Increases Ties to United States

Oil giant Tyumen Oil Co., or TNK, is increasing its ties with the United States as its top executives are acquiring positions on the boards of directors of U.S. corporations.

TNK first vice president Iosif Bakaleinik was appointed as advisory director to the Bank of Oklahoma on Wednesday.

Members of the bank’s board appointed Bakaleinik "to help generate ideas useful for the bank’s activities both in the United States and Russia," a TNK press release said.

"Bakaleinik has rich experience of practical work in Russia’s emerging market economy and a deep understanding of the Western financial system," said TNK president Simon Kukes in the release.

In 1992, Bakaleinik graduated from Harvard Business School. He previously served as a specialist for the International Financial Corp. and general director of the Vladimir Tractor Factory before being appointed first vice president of TNK in 1997, Kommersant reported.

Bakaleinik’s appointment follows the appointment of his boss, Kukes, who was named to the board of directors of another Oklahoma company, Parker Drilling Co., in July. Parker Drilling Co. is a Tulsa-based provider of barge and offshore drilling services and oil tool rentals.

In April, Kukes was selected as an advisor to the Foreign Policy Association in New York.

The reputation of its executives helped TNK launch a joint venture last month with U.S. oil giant Texaco to open dozens of gas stations in Moscow and Kiev.

TNK is also the first Russian company since the 1998 financial crisis to be granted major loans guaranteed by the U.S. government, through the U.S. Eximbank. An agreement was signed in November for Chase Manhattan Bank to handle a $198 million loan to TNK’s Ryazan Oil Refinery, and another $250 million will be opened for the Samotlor oil and gas deposit in 2001.

TNK, the fastest growing oil firm in Russia, was named the world’s "Best Oil and Gas Company of 2000" last month by a Colorado-based specialist branch of the prestigious Financial Times Group, FT-Energy.

At a New York ceremony, FT-Energy, which bills itself as "the world’s most comprehensive provider of global energy industry news," said TNK won for its "phenomenal growth in the past year, breaking into the world’s top 15 oil firms and showing remarkable entrepreneurial spirit in extremely trying circumstances."

TNK received wide applause both at home and abroad in September when it won what many analysts consider Russia’s most transparent and fair tender for a major state enterprise, paying $1.08 billion for 85 percent of Onako, the nation’s No. 14 oil company.