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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Vyakhirev Says Will Not Quit

NICE, France -- Rem Vyakhirev, chief executive of gas monopoly Gazprom, plans to stay in his post at least until the company's annual shareholders meeting in 2001, he said Wednesday.

Vyakhirev, who will be 66 in August, was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the world gas conference in the southern French city of Nice.

"It's already time for me to start thinking about my pension. But I don't think it will happen this year. It's not a matter for Vyakhirev - it's just that the company's not ready for it," he said.

He added that he did not see it as a serious possibility that he would be succeeded by Viktor Chernomyrdin, a former prime minister and chief executive of Gazprom and now the chairman of the Gazprom board.

This year's shareholders meeting will take place June 30. The question of Vyakhirev's possible resignation is aired every year ahead of the meeting

Vagit Alekperov, head of the nation's largest oil company, LUKoil, has welcomed the appointment of a special envoy in the Caspian region.

In an interview published Wednesday in the newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta, he said the choice of former Fuel and Energy Minister Viktor Kalyuzhny, whom he described as "the best minister" for the post, was also positive.

Alekperov said having a single representative in the region would end the conflicts of interest between three administrative bodies - the Foreign, Natural Resources and Energy ministries - that look after the nation's interests there.