ON October 1 Russian Railways was formally launched as a state-owned joint stock company, responsible for all operations and commercial activities formerly undertaken by the Ministry of Railway Transport. The handover followed a week of frantic activity, which began on September 23 with a special decree appointing Minister of Railways Gennadi Fadeyev as the company’s first President.

Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov signed the final legislation on September 28 to bring OAO RZD into operation. Two days later, Fadeyev signed a ’consolidated transfer deed’ with his successor as Minister of Railways Vadim Morozov and the First Deputy Minister of Property Relations Alexander Braverman for the transfer of all assets designated as part of the company’s authorised capital. According to the inventory drawn up at the end of June (RG 9.03 p526), book value of these assets is put at 1535·7bn roubles, leaving the ministry with assets worth just 12bn roubles, according to Morozov.

Other preparations included registration of the RZD subsidiaries and operating branches, appointment of departmental heads and other staff, and issuing of new official seals to each company headquarters. On October 1 all principal and ancillary credit accounts belonging to the Ministry of Railways were closed and new bank accounts opened in the name of Russian Railways.

  • On October 5 the Ministry of Railways issued licences to five private companies to provide rolling stock and operate passenger services on the Russian network. They are Grand Service Express of Moscow, Okdayl and Transline of St Petersburg, Sochi Transport Company based in Sochi and Express-Priogod of Novosibirsk. Fadeyev told his regional managers that the law required new operators to be given ’equal access’ to highly-profitable segments of the market. n