Anatoly Chubais: “can We go back to the Soviets, but not to communism”

“Fluffy Zyuganov is absolutely a good grandfather”

— Exactly 20 years ago, July 16, 1996, presidential elections were held, won by Boris Yeltsin. Did you expect that Russia will become what it is today: state capitalism, the idealization of the Soviet era, “glamurny” Stalin? During the struggle with communism have you thought about what we’ll get back to that?

— Attempt to connect one time to another is absolutely legitimate. But in order to properly answer this question, we need to remember that the choice then was a historic movement of Russia forward or backward. And it’s not artistic exaggeration. And the Communists of that time were full-fledged fighting unit of the proletariat, whose task was General nationalization, the destruction of the convertibility of the ruble, the ban of private ownership, turning it into a criminal offence, as in Soviet times.

This inevitably would have ruined the economy and led to serious social and political consequences, perhaps the real civil war. I then believed, and now, although a lot of my worldview has changed, that it was a historic choice, and the fact that Russia took it, determined everything else. From the positive moments — we don’t have the problems of separation from the country of entire regions. the problem of the collapse of the country, and then she was standing seriously.

— Then there was the threat of civil war?

— Absolutely. And I think this is not an exaggeration but a reality. Today this problem does not exist, but there are other fork, they seem to be very painful and indeed they are. I share the subtext of your question, but in order to talk about it, we had to go through that passed in 1996. Today’s fluffy [Communist party leader Gennady] Zyuganov is absolutely a good grandfather, on which tears of emotion impossible to watch. If you compare it with Zyuganov in 1996 — they are two different people. Why? And exactly because Yeltsin then stood up and said, “This will not” — and got the result.

— You belongs to the phrase “to put the final nail in the coffin of communism.” It turns out, this has not been done?

— Do you think the country can now return to communism?

— I think so.

— I think that it is absolutely impossible.

— But the Soviets could come back.

“You see, you yourself corrected. And I agree with you, to the Soviet — Yes, in many ways this is what we see. A Communist can Express the essence of their ideology in one sentence: “abolition of private property” — V. I. Lenin, volume 36, page 523, if I remember correctly. Are you guys serious? Who now threaten the destruction of private property in Russia? It is impossible, even if someone would like.

“I can’t say that the chamber is something misrepresented or distorted”

— Financial indicators of “RUSNANO” for the first quarter of 2016 depressing. Revenue was halved, to 1.41 billion rubles, the net loss increased more than 13 times. What are such indicators?

— An investment business which we conduct, is cyclic. A significant part of our results is connected with the outputs of the projects. Almost all of the outputs we plan on the third and fourth quarters. In this sense, the quarterly results for us is not an indicator. Look at last year: the audit chamber has finished check us out in the third quarter and was criticized for the loss. And by the end of the year we got not just profit, and a profit of 17 billion rubles, which put us in the top 30 Russian companies, including Gazprom and oil company. Quarterly results for us — an interim history. It is important for the year to reach a positive result. But while to speak about results early.

— Figures of the first quarter does not inspire optimism about the outcome.

— I do not agree with you. One should not compare them with the results of last year, and the plan fact. The plan and the fact that the first quarter did not diverge. We had not planned exits from a business in the first quarter, so we have no earnings in the first quarter.

— You mentioned the audit of the accounts of the chamber at the end of June will publish the full version of the report of the auditors. In it, the chamber cites the example of the company “Polysilicon” RUSNANO has invested RUB 16.4 billion And received only 6 billion rubles. the aim of the project was not achieved, therefore, the chamber found him ineffective. You do not agree with this assessment?

— You have raised an important point on which we disagree with the audit chamber. We believe that overall the audit was sensible and reasonable: it showed some shortcomings, which we do not see. There are things with which we disagree. The example you gave, as well as a set of projects that analyzed the chamber, belonged to the unit of crisis projects. Indeed, it shows bad results. And I can’t say that the chamber is something misrepresented or distorted — it’s not. Including in the case of Polysilicon, which is great-talk about our bad example.

But in private equity (private investment RBC) business and venture business, in which we work, there is a basic principle to assess not the project, and the portfolio. Have any of the most successful investment companies there are always failed projects. If you analyze failed projects are the best in the world venture capital company Sequoia, you will be astonished the amount of losses. But investors do not analyse the projects and the portfolio as a whole. We have consistently improved the fair value of the portfolio: last year it almost caught up with the costs. Given the fact that we have a profit for the full year, which means that we successful projects compensate for failure failure. This is the principle of the private equity business.

— It is clear that a business venture is not very simple. What should be the percentage loss?

— It is very different stages. In the early stages of loss can be up to 90%. Late — on the contrary, should not be more than 20-30%. But the overall picture in which the failure kompensiruet successes, is a typical symptom of this type of activity, especially when we are talking about nanotechnology and about our native Russian environment.

— The chamber has paid attention to one thing — a conflict of interest. It deals with the story of the bonds of series 1 through 5, which were purchased by VEB. Then was the head of VEB Vladimir Dmitriev. He was a member of the Board of Directors “Rosnano”. As a result, the auditors called it by the person concerned.

— This is a funny story. Blame Vladimir Dmitriev, who was a civil servant, I think it’s too much even from a formal point of view. What is the conflict of interests of the Bank, which still is a public body for the development and including those responsible for reviewing the “RUSNANO” and, by definition, is one of the buyers of bonds of RUSNANO? You can complain here about a conflict of interests and blame Dmitrieva or me, but I think it’s so beauty story that I seriously would not have analyzed.

RUSNANO has often been accused that it is embedded in already finished projects, and it is necessary to invest in science. What to say to the critics?

— It’s about the biker to blame the fact that he rides a bike, not a scooter. This illiterate conversation. Sorry for the harshness, but I want to call a spade a spade. In the country there are different types of activities in the sphere of science and innovation. For example, there is Academy of Sciences. Is FANO, which is engaged in the support of fundamental science. “Rosnano” was created to support science. Dear critics, who are always talking about it, I want to remind you: we are not created for this. We were created in order to build nanotechnologies. Please inquire for fish in a fish store, and the meat in the meat, not Vice versa. Otherwise we will have a complete mess.

“This is a sharp increase in the volume of the market for our company”

— Recently “RUSNANO” signed an agreement with the Russian export centre (REC). What kind of technology Russia can export?

— Last year, export sales amounted to almost 200 billion rubles From more than 130 billion rubles, which is estimated nanoindustry in the country, almost 20% was exported, and exports in the real sector. This sale produced innovative products mainly in the European markets, a little less American and Asian. For us exports is not just a cosmetic increase, but the most important part of the construction of the country’s nanoindustry.

— Question about another collaboration — “Rosnano” and “Gazprom”. Tell us in the example of pipes, what you are touching?

— We have a whole set of technologies, such as fully-realized and under development. I will give an example. One of the major challenges in the pipe industry was the problem of the insulation of large diameter pipes. Until recently, up to 100% of the Russian market of insulation of main gas pipes were imported. The largest Western company had the market under control. We 5-6 years ago created a small start-up: only a few people who have created interesting technology, then a product that can compete with the Western supplier. Many years working with the “tubes”, with real strong support “Gazprom and [the Chairman of the Board of Gazprom Aleksey] Miller in person, we have proved that it is able to do it. As a result, our company — “Metaclay” this year will occupy more than 50% of the market. Sales reached 6.8 billion RUB, the Startup came out of nothing, and we went out of business, sold their share already released to the production capacity of the company and earned a lot of money in 2015. It’s already a finished project.

If we talk about the projects that we are going to develop one of our companies developed an interesting technology associated with the sensors for measuring mechanical damage and impacts to the gas main pipe. Measurements based on fibre optic principle. Recently at a meeting with Miller, the decision was made that this technology will be a priority for testing large diameter pipe in the pipeline “Power of Siberia”. It is the enormous size of the project and a huge responsibility, because the trunk defines a considerable part of Russian exports and not only exports. This is a very important choice and a sharp increase in the volume of the market for our company.

— There are numbers of investment in this project?

— I will not say on the memory the amount of investment. But since we are talking about the gas pipeline “Power of Siberia”, it is for our company, I think at least doubling, and sometimes tripling sales.

— Hot topic — industrial storage of energy. In this direction makes the “RUSNANO”?

— I think it’s a massive subject. Sometimes in the technological world are the point where changes in related technologies merge and the output there is a whole set of new industries. I think that this point is the industrial storage of electricity. About what happens in road transport, about what makes a Tesla, know everything. This is extremely important. But the theme goes beyond just cars. I as a person who worked in the energy sector for ten years, it is clear that if we learn to store electricity on an industrial scale, it will completely change the configuration of the electric power industry. Will change the relationship between alternative energy and heat.

The most important problem in the alternative energy sector — the irregularity of the excavation. The wind farm operates at wind, but does not work without wind. Solar energy works when the sun is not working without the sun. If you can keep, then you have no problem scheduling in the form in which it exists now. This leads to the fact that, in principle, you do not need to have peak capacity of such a level that you have, because you can produce energy at night, store it in spades issue of storage. This strategic change across the energy sector and in households.

We have addressed our proposals to the government, we have supported Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich, who instructed the energy Ministry to work out the technical task for the state support measures in this area.

— There are deadlines to fulfill this order?

— Yes, terms of reference should be submitted to the Deputy Prime Minister, if I remember correctly, at the end of July 2016.

In may 2016, you said that are considering launching a joint with Rostec project on recycling.

— This is a very interesting topic. We are talking about the processing of waste into electricity. This technology, which worldwide is developing in parallel with technology separation of garbage, but not in Russia. We have a catastrophic situation: debris, which is transported in huge volumes, stored in landfills, which are usually overcrowded. What is happening there from the point of view of ecology, and from the point of view of crime understand about. This sector, which must civilizovani. We are in serious negotiations with Rostec. I hope that I will be able to work on the project.

— There was information about that in August, you should see the vision of this project.

Vision generally viewed, but not yet.