Thursday, December 15, 2005

Ex commerce sec. Evans may head Russian oil company

Former commerce Secretary Evans may take a post with Russian oil giant Rosneft according to the Financial Times:
Donald Evans, a close friend of president George W. Bush and the former commerce secretary, met president Vladimir Putin of Russia last week but refused to be drawn on growing speculation that he had been offered the chairmanship of Rosneft, Russia’s state-controlled oil company.
Although this will be compared to ex-chancellor Schroeder's taking a job with the company responsible for the Russian-German gas pipeline, there are important distinctions.

Schroeder went straight from his job as German leader into his cushy position as Chairman. Evans was out of government for some time. More troubling is that Schroeder pushed hard politically for the pipeline, perhaps knowing his future position was secure. It may even have been a part of one side or the other's negotiating strategy.

What struck me originally when reading the Evans story was unease at the influence he might yet wield in the Bush administration, but on second thought it can be seen as a a fitting cap to the cold war: the ex-American commerce secretary (doesn't get more capitalistic than that) is wooed by a former Soviet oil company.

Lenin must be spinning in his glass case.