Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Your comments seem to me reasonable so I don't agree in details.
First, Severstal IS NOT strategic company, Mordashov controls meagre 17% or about of Russian steel output. Severstal is the 3rd biggest company and will effectively control the biggest European steel maker. I don't know about technologies transfer, does Severstal need some Western technologies and will it get them or won't.
Khodorkovsky case is different, he grabbed Yukos (Strategic ASSET by Putin's words), started to corrupt parliament and promoted independent foreign policy. So Khodorkovsky in control of American oil major was not desirable, it might turned to be effective control of Russian oil resources by American businessman Mikhail Khodorkovsky and nationalization or by other words illegal means would be the only way to strip Khodorkovsky off his assets.
by FarEasterner on Sat Jun 3rd, 2006 at 03:32:18 AM EST
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I'll stipulate that oil is probably more strategic that steel nowadays (although in terms of export and hard currency income, metals are a significant source for Russia, and metal exports are less easy to control than oil which have to go through the State-controlled pipeline system.

While I'll also agree that Khodorkhovski was a real political threat to Putin, I find is absolutely absurd to describe him as an "American businessman".

He understood what to say to be appreciated by American capitalists, but he certainly did not give them much say in his business, and he was always Russian. And he chose to stay in Russia. He was offered the alternative, by Putin and Abramovich: take a few billion in exchange for Yukos, and leave Russia, or stay and take your chances. He took his chances - and probably knew that he would end where he did.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Jun 3rd, 2006 at 10:06:00 AM EST
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