In the second government reshuffle this year, Russian President Vladimir Putin has promoted Alexander Novak to deputy Prime Minister, leaving the post of energy minister to RusHydro CEO Nikolai Shuglinov. However, Novak is expected to remain Moscow’s point man at the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and provide predictability in the oil market, Chris Weafer, the founding partner of Macro-Advisory in Moscow, told New Europe by phone on November 12.

“I think that essentially Novak will continue to be the person in charge of oil and gas while his replacement in the energy ministry has a lifelong career in the electricity sector,” Weafer said, adding that he does not expect Shuglinov to have any new agenda in the energy sector. He also pointed out that the new Russian Energy Minister is 69 years old and might be replaced in a couple of years. “He is seen more of an interim appointment. So, Novak has been promoted to a more senior role but it doesn’t represent any change whatsoever in Russia’s energy policy,” Weafer said.

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