Gazprom Holding Corporate Party Olympic Facilities in Sochi

December 19, 2013
"Galaxy" socio-cultural centre

The state-owned oil giant, Gazprom, will host its holiday party at an Olympic facility, paid for by Gazprom. Other state-owned corporations have not pay for holiday parties. This was originally published in the state-owned RIA Novosti, which is soon to become “Russia Today,” or Russia Segodnya. — Ed.

The gas monopoly will time its Christmas corporate party to coincide with the opening of one of the Olympic facilities, the “Galaxy” cultural center. Earlier Vladimir Putin urged state corporations to pay for parties from their own funds, not at the expense of the state budget. Rostec, UAC (United Aircraft Corporation), and Rosneft have already followed the presidential advice.

Gazprom will hold its New Year corporate party in Sochi, in conjunction with the opening of its newly built “Galaxy” cultural center, according to the CEO Alexei Miller.

“You know, we have the Olympic venues that Gazprom built for the Olympics in Sochi, and one of them is the “Galaxy” cultural center. It will open on December 20. Therefore, we are timing the opening of one of the facilities under the program of preparations to the Sochi Olympics to coincide with an event to celebrate the completion of the Olympic program by Gazprom and the New Year,” said Miller speaking to reporters.

In early December speaking at a forum of the Popular Front, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was not against corporate parties organized by state-owned companies, but it should not be done at the expense of budgets, and suggested that employees should pay for such events out of their own pockets.
Such companies as Rostec and UAC have already decided not to organize corporate parties at the expense company budgets. Rosneft also announced that the upcoming New Year party would be paid by the staff. RZD (Russian Railways) hasn’t cancelled its corporate party, planning to spend 50 million rubles on the extravaganza.

Vladimir Putin: “Anyway, it’s an odd subject – how much they spend on corporate parties. They can spend as much as they want. All they have to do is for everybody to chip in and make a party, just like it was in previous years. I find it hard to imagine that those organizations where I used to work in the Soviet times, that the KGB budget would allocate money for a corporate party. This is complete nonsense. We also used to get together, on a payday we would all chip in and meet to have a drink. It’s a Russian holiday, after all. Not to get drunk, just to celebrate the holiday. But to allocate money for this from a company budget of the company – it’s kind of crazy”.

How much money does Gazprom have?
Gazprom is the largest gas company in the world. The state owns a controlling stake of 50.002%. Market capitalization of JSC Gazprom as of late 2011 amounted to $128 billion. The earnings of Gazprom for 2011 was 4.736 trillion rubles.

Why did corporate New Year parties become such an issue?

Sergei Petukhov, RIA Novosti commentator: “In place of a simple and straightforward Soviet-style control over spending on corporate parties, there is a gaping hole in the modern Russian legislation that everybody bypasses any way they can. In the 90s, and in the “fat 2000s” few people paid attention to it. This hole become noticeable once the global crisis began. Just by inertia corporate parties continued, until the absurdity of what was happening become so obvious.”