SOCHI, May 22 (RIA Novosti) – Russian presidential aide Andrei Fursenko said on Wednesday he has received no official job offer to oversee the Skolkovo innovation hub for the presidential administration, despite reports to the contrary.
“I have not officially received any such proposals,” said Fursenko.
Last week, Skolkovo Foundation president, billionaire businessman Viktor Vekselberg, said Fursenko had already been appointed. His comments followed a report in the Izvestia daily, citing an anonymous source at Skolkovo, that Fursenko would be the Kremlin’s supervisor of the Skolkovo project and that his appointment would be officially announced on May 17.
Fursenko, who served as Russia’s education minister from 2004 to 2008 and who has been a member of Skolkovo’s board of trustees since June 2010, was also welcomed last week as a possible successor at Skolkovo by former Deputy Prime Minister Vladislav Surkov, who earlier this month resigned from the government. Surkov had been a member of the board of trustees for Skolkovo’s coordinating body, the Skolkovo Foundation, and chairman of the board of trustees of the project’s university, the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology.
Surkov said the news of his appointment came as “a good reassuring signal, a signal that the project on the whole is supported by the president and that his administration is taking Skolkovo under its wing.”
Surkov stepped down from his post as deputy prime minister in early May. His resignation came amid a mounting crackdown by law enforcement agencies on the Skolkovo Foundation amid allegations of embezzlement.
The same day that Izvestia reported that Fursenko would be appointed, Natalya Timakova, a spokeswoman for Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, said that the Skolkovo project “will remain under the government’s supervision.” She added that “Skolkovo’s permanent supervisor will be appointed at the level of deputy prime minister.”