Moscow -Grigory Levchenko, President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman said on Tuesday that Vladimir
Yakunin, head of the Russian Railways and a close friend of the President, plans to resign to become a senator.
Yakunin, who has headed Russian Railways for a decade, was targeted by US sanctions last year as a reputed member of Putin’s inner circle after Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine.
Yakunin 67, received the proposal from the country’s leadership and agreed, Levchenko said.
He is expected to resign as the company’s president next month to be appointed as one of two senators for the Kaliningrad region, an exclave on the Baltic Sea between Poland and Lithuania.
Yakunin would not be able to keep his job because Russian law precludes federal legislators from engaging in entrepreneurial activity.
Kaliningrad’s acting governor, Nikolai Tsukanov, nominated Yakunin for the post earlier this week as the region does not require its senators to be elected in a popular vote.
Russian Railways is the largest employer in the country. (dpa/NAN)