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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Remezov's Heart Foils UES Attack

Mosenergo chief Alexander Remezov checked into the hospital with a heart condition ahead of a hotly contested shareholders meeting Friday, temporarily trumping efforts by parent company Unified Energy Systems to sack him.

UES, owner of 51 percent of the Moscow power monopoly, had vowed to sack Remezov at the meeting, but after his sudden illness opted instead to use its majority on the Mosenergo board to "send him on vacation" indefinitely and postponed counting Friday's vote by shareholders.

"The decision to send Remezov on vacation was made by the board of directors due to his sickness," UES said in a statement.

Under Russian labor law, employees cannot be dismissed while on sick leave or on vacation.

It was unclear whether the board meeting was legal or exactly who is now in charge of the company, which supplies heat and electricity to 16 million people in Moscow and the surrounding region.

Mosenergo board member Anatoly Chabak said the meeting had formally taken place, meaning that more than 50 percent of shareholders voted, Reuters reported. But UES said mailed-in votes wouldn't be tallied until Sept. 10 and Igor Goryunov, Mosenergo's chief engineer, was appointed acting chief executive officer in the meantime.

But Remezov's first deputy, Vladislav Chyorny, said the meeting was invalid and he planned to contest in court the decision to send Remezov on vacation. "[A person] on sick leave cannot be sent on vacation," Prime-Tass quoted him as saying.

Dmitry Spirkin, chief bailiff for Moscow's central district, said the meeting had not taken place officially as voting papers were absent and no minutes were recorded, Prime-Tass reported.

Chabak, who UES claims is in control of the company, seemed as confused as everyone else about the flurry of activity.

"The dead-end situation between UES and the company management backed by the Moscow government ... has moved into the level of negotiations, I assume," Reuters quoted Chabak as saying.