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Vladimir Potanin, president of Norilsk Nickel, gave a long interview to the Vedomosti newspaper. Here is a selection of the most interesting quotes:

  • On the future of the Russian economy: «Half of the Silicon Valley [companies] outsource to Bangalore or somewhere there. Why can’t we arrange to have the other half outsource to Russia? This industry is very difficult to politicize.»
  • About blockchain technology: «Blockchain is a gold mine because it is a technology that can improve a great number of processes. We are going to work on projects involving digitization and blockchain. We have made some small investments in the US to get experience and to see how data centers operate. We have accumulated some experience in this area over the past ten years and are now waiting for the moment to begin applying it in Russia.»
  • About the Norilsk Nickel’s $2.5 billion environmental program: «For us this is money we will never recoup. But we couldn’t continue without the program because of the tremendous external pressure. Investors no longer want to buy stock in companies that use dirty technologies to produce metal. It was pressure from the government and the public, saying that the air is unfit for breathing. Finally, we ourselves came to the realization that while revenues are important, fostering a good social environment is a must.»
  • About Norilsk Nickel and Rusal merger: I discussed it with Oleg Deripaska this summer. We had a frank discussion, saying that if one of us was thinking of a merger, that it was best to discuss it then and not to hide anything. <…> Oleg and I agreed that as production companies and facilities UC Rusal and Norilsk Nickel are too different and that it’s hard to see any synergy.»
  • About Russian banks: «In terms of economics in general, it is good for state banks to have competitors, which has however ceased to be an end in itself. Banks’ primary function is performing financial transactions. If people feel more secure when it is a public authority doing it, then let it be so.»

The full interview is available at