More and more, vendors are being chosen by competitions: In 2005, such contracts made up 22 percent, and by 2009 – over 88 percent. Yet, it’s rather difficult for outsiders to win in these contests. “Strangers don’t work within the Gazprom system. If you don’t have ties with them then there is almost no chance, and it’s better to not even dream about doing business with Gazprom,” one of the company’s suppliers said.
The most comfortable niches have long been occupied by people who are specially picked. For example, Gazprom’s pipes are supplied by Vladimir Putin’s acquaintances from St. Petersburg, Arkady and Boris Rotenberg, and partners of Putin’s student buddy Viktor Khmarin. Vedomosti has found that firms associated with Gazprom executives are in no way indifferent to such attractive business. We compared the monopoly’s bidding results, available on Gazprom’s web site, and data on the partners of Gazprom’s largest suppliers, which are often available on their web sites, with information about companies registered with the group’s board members and their closest relatives, which is available in the SPARK system of professional analysis of markets and companies and the single state register of legal entities. Interesting coincidences were found for three of Gazprom’s 17 members of the board: Alexander Ananenkov, Valery Golubev and Yaroslav Golko.