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French Ex-Prime Minister Joins Board Of Russian State Oil Company


Former French Prime Minister Francois Fillon (file photo)

Former French Prime Francois Fillon has joined to the board of Russian state oil company Zarubezhneft, the latest in a number of former top European government leaders to serve on Russian energy company boards.

Fillon's name appeared on the list of Zarubezhneft board members as of June 28, according to a corporate and business information portal run by the Interfax news agency.

A Russian government order published earlier this month indicated that Fillon would be nominated for a seat on the board.

Zarubezhneft did not immediately confirm the report.

The Moscow-based Zarubezhneft is wholly state owned, and is not as well-known as state-owned Rosneft, the country's largest oil producer.

Fillon, who ran the French government under President Nicolas Sarkozy between 2007 and 2012, is head of Apteras, a consultancy he set up after his failed 2017 presidential bid.

His campaign collapsed amid a fake-jobs scandal. A court sentenced him to five years in prison, in June 2020, with three years suspended.

Fillon is the latest in a string of former senior European politicians to join Russian energy companies.

Karin Kneissl, the former Austrian foreign minister who famously danced with President Vladimir Putin at her wedding in 2018, joined Rosneft's board earlier this month.

Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has been chairman of the Rosneft board since 2017.

With reporting by AFP
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