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Posted at 03:20 PM ET, 06/25/2012

Navalny appointed to Aeroflot board

Leading Russian anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny was elected to the board of Aeroflot, the Russian airline, during a company meeting Monday.

Navalny was nominated by billionaire media tycoon Alexander Lebedev, who owns nearly 15 percent of Aeroflot.
Alexei Navalny, a prominent anti-corruption whistleblower and blogger, speaks to journalists after being released from police custody on the outskirts of Moscow on Dec. 21, 2011. (Mikhail Metzel - AP)

The FT reported that Navalny plans to use Aeroflot as a proving grounds for his campaign for corporate transparency.

“He said he saw his role as helping to increase the influence of independent directors and independent management. ‘It is especially important in the case of Russian companies to establish a system of anonymous reporting on misconduct,’ ” the FT reported Navalny saying in an interview with a Moscow radio station.

Navalny drew worldwide media attention after he became the voice of anti-Putin protests last year. In December, he was jailed for 15 days on charges of obstructing traffic during an unauthorized protest. More recently, police searched his apartment ahead of planned anti-Putin demonstrations this month. He has also served as a one-man whistleblowing operation, publishing documents exposing corporate malfeasance within Russia’s largest companies.

Aeroflot CEO Vitaly Savelyev told Russian news site RIA Novosti that he sees “nothing dangerous” in appointing an opposition leader to the board.

“He joked that he would now have to shuttle between Aeroflot’s boardroom and police interrogations,” the FT reported.

On his blog, Navalny said that he may or may not draw a salary, but that decision would be made at Aeroflot’s annual meeting.

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By  |  03:20 PM ET, 06/25/2012

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