"Whoever owns Bronka rules the city." Why did Poltavchenko become interested in port of disgraced oligarch? 

"Whoever owns Bronka rules the city." Why did Poltavchenko become interested in port of disgraced oligarch?
According to the Mayor, the Bronka's development project is "very interesting" Photo: The CrimeRussia

In November of last year, stevedoring companies of St. Petersburg faced black Friday. The port of Bronka departed to the clan of all-powerful ex-Head of the Federal Guard Service (FSO) Evgeny Murov. The other day it became known that oligarch Dmitry Mikhalchenko’s port of Bronka ownership was assigned to St. Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko. According to sources, an unexpected desire to develop Bronka is the last chance not to retire.

Perfect storm

Even in the fall of 2017, when the media announced the name of the port of Bronka new owner, the wife of Evgeny Murov, an ‘alarm bell’ rang in the cargo transshipment market. It was not just a signal bell. It was the alarm. Primarily for Morskoy Port OJSC of Vladimir Lisin. Today's statement of Georgy Poltavchenko that the city intends to transfer the Big Seaport of St. Petersburg to Bronka is not commented by any of the major players in the stevedoring business. Both Global Ports, and Baltic Bulker Terminal OJSC also keep silence.

Now the competitors are divided into Bronka and "all the rest." Now Lisin's empire faces the burst-up. However, like everyone else.




Port of Bronka

As we have already reported, the appearance of such a significant figure as FSO ex-Head Evgeny Murov significantly changed the alignment of forces on the export-import market. 

Bronka enters the runway of political decisions.

Today's development of the port is a global redistribution of spheres of influence in the stevedoring business and actual confrontation with Morskoy Port OJSC Vladimir Lisin and Global Ports of Vitaly Yuzhilin.


Vitaly Yuzhilin and Vladimir Lisin

In a down economy (in September 2016), Bronka receives a license to transport dangerous and especially dangerous goods (which includes positions such as weapons), both by sea and by rail. Also, representatives of the company Phoenix held essential negotiations with the Chinese company COSCO, which is the world leader in the bulk and general cargo sector. Today, Bronka is already taking deep-sea vessels from around the world.

On the official website of the Phoenix company, vessel calls from such countries as Finland, the Bahamas, Malta, Cyprus, Germany, Portugal, Antigua and Barbuda, Liberia and Hong Kong appear.


According to experts, Russia controls more than 23% of the world arms market. According to the SIPRI, about 70% of Russian supplies fall to 4 countries - India, China, Vietnam and Algeria.

As we see, it’s a very high result for the port, which started its work just two years ago in the conditions of severe competition. Since then it has become smaller, as the port of Ust-Luga has faced numerous troubles in the form of arrests of the people responsible for its functioning and a loud scandal with smuggling.

Go about!

Against the backdrop of severe competition and a fall in the cargo business, St. Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko made a statement. The Head of the city, in particular, said that "the port in its current borders is jamming residential areas, and losing prospects for development, and the city infrastructure faces unnecessary workload from the port."


St. Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko

So, according to the Mayor, the Bronka development project is "very interesting," and other ports are not very suitable, as they will compete with the ports of Primorsk, Vyborg, and Ust-Luga. All this was very unexpected, given the fact that previously the Governor did not like Bronka.

Such high-profile statement is a direct appeal to specific groups of people and in fact an immediate promise. The specialists of the cargo handling business have already appreciated this step and even tried to understand why it happened. On the one hand, there is no place for the development of the ports. The railway infrastructure is already so congested that queues of container trains are formed from time to time. The very idea of port transfer is quite justified. But this is only in the distant future, in 25 years, as now the city does not need to engage in considerable investments in Bronka.

The economic situation is awful, so the available transshipment capacity is abundant. Most of them are entirely idle, and the crisis affected. The same Bronka is loaded by about a third. Also, the above owners of the largest container terminals will not for any reason rent a free space from a direct competitor. They are more interested in building their own.


The necessary investments for the functioning of the port of Bronka were estimated at 118 billion rubles ($1.9bn). To date, the total investment is estimated at 60 billion rubles, of which private money composes 43.7 billion rubles.

According to our sources, this was a kind of public offer for specific stakeholders, directly related to rumors about the resignation of the Governor.

Armchair and port

The next rumors about the resignation of Governor Poltavchenko appeared at the end of last week. Political media and some Telegram channels actively exaggerated these rumors. The seat of the Governor of the northern capital should be taken by former Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov by June 10.


Maxim Sokolov

Someone noticed that a new round of rumors about the early departure of Poltavchenko appeared just before the date of his meeting with the President.     

Thus, the new election campaign should begin this summer, and according to sources, the headquarters of Poltavchenko's political rivals are already trying to discuss possible scenarios in which the probability of appointing Maxim Sokolov as Governor is very high.

And then the Head of the city gave a detailed interview, in which the fate of the port of Bronka, built by disgraced oligarch Dmitry Mikhalchenko, played out in fresh colors. According to some analysts, Georgy Poltavchenko needs serious support. Most likely, he needs this support to develop Bronks. And if you plunge into the history of the port, you may find traces of above-mentioned Minister Maxim Sokolov among the people of interest.


Governor Poltavchenko

For example, in early 2017, Head of the Ministry of Transport Maxim Sokolov was actively engaged in discussions on the development of railways to pass traffic from the port of Bronka. The project was discussed at a meeting of the Coordinating Council of the transport system of St. Petersburg and Leningrad region. Also, it is no secret that the contract for the construction was given to unknown holding Forum of Mikhalchenko by Major General of the FSB Nikolay Negodov. He served as the Deputy Minister of Transport of the Russian Federation, where, in fact, he was in charge of sea transport. The arrival of such a heavyweight as the ex-Minister Sokolov is a great success for the holders of the assets of the port. So, the comment of the current Governor is transparent.


Oligarch Dmitry Mikhalchenko

At the very beginning of the investigation into the smuggling case against Dmitry Mikhalchenko, The CrimeRussia put forward the theory that Mikhalchenko's beloved port of Bronka was the subject of trade where the life and freedom of the oligarch are at stake. Today's realities show that the price of Bronka is much higher. Its real value is the global political and economic influence of its beneficiaries on the Northwest. According to rumors, the websites of cargo carriers posted an inelegant pun - "Whoever owns Bronka rules the city." Perhaps, the new statement of the Governor confirms this.



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