War in Ukraine: a close friend of Putin joins the Russian tech giant Yandex

Sylvie Claire / December 5, 2022

A close friend of Vladimir Putin, Alexei Kudrin, announced on Monday that he has joined the Yandex group, the Russian jewel of new technologies, at a time when the Kremlin is strengthening its grip on the digital sector in the middle of the conflict in Ukraine.
I have accepted an offer from Yandex to become a business development advisor," the former finance minister said on Telegram, adding that his duties would include "ensuring the company's long-term development on all markets, including international".
Mr. Kudrin, 62, had announced last week that he was leaving the Audit Office. Russian media had reported that he would join Yandex to hold an important position.
The Russian new technologies sector has been strongly affected by the Western sanctions adopted against Russia after its offensive against Ukraine and the Kremlin is trying to develop a strategy to replace the Western giants and their products.
Mr. Kudrin was Minister of Finance from 2000 to 2011. He remained close to Mr. Putin after leaving the government.
His appointment to Yandex illustrates the importance that the Kremlin attaches to this flagship of new technologies in Russia, and its desire to better control it.
Obviously aware of the questions raised by his arrival, Mr. Kudrin assured Monday that he would strive to "help Yandex preserve its unique managerial and technological culture" so that the company remains "independent" and "the best of high technologies in Russia ».
Yandex is registered in the Netherlands and has European, UK and US subsidiaries, but the bulk of its business is in Russia and Russian-speaking countries.
It created Russia's leading search engine and is a dominant player in cab and delivery services across a large part of the Russian-speaking world.
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