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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Miller to Start Work Next Week

VedomostiAlexei Miller
Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller will return to work next week after nearly three months of sick leave, ending weeks of speculation about his resignation, Miller's spokesman, Sergei Kupriyanov, said Tuesday.

Kupriyanov said Tuesday that Miller, 45, would return to work Monday. He has been out of the office of the gas producer since early June after being treated in a hospital for kidney stones.

"It means that speculation about a management reshuffle at Gazprom has turned out to be premature," said Oleg Maximov, an oil analyst at Troika Dialog. "I have a feeling Miller will keep his position even after the March elections."

President Vladimir Putin must step down in March after his second term expires, and although his likely successor is still unknown, analysts have started speculating about possible management changes at state-controlled firms.

Gazprom officials repeatedly said Miller, a close ally of Putin, would return to work soon and was remaining firmly in command by managing the $243 billion company over the phone.

Gazprom chief financial officer Andrei Kruglov and deputy CEO Alexander Ananenkov have deputized for Miller over the past three months.