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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Gazprom is king of the hill in Russian region

06–23–2009 Associated Press — MOSCOW. Coming soon to the stunning snowcapped peaks of southern Siberia — probably the world's highest billboard. Leaders in the remote Russian region of Altai want to name one of the region's tallest mountains in honor of Gazprom, the state-run natural gas monopoly and corporate behemoth. It was unclear whether the mountain currently has a name. The Altai government's Web site says an official expedition is expected to climb the 11,200-foot (3,410-meter) peak this summer to erect a giant Gazprom logo on top. Local lawmakers hope the logo will be seen for miles around. For western consumers, Gazprom is more associated with acrimonious disputes that turned off gas supplies to Europe and symbolizes Russia's blunt-edged energy clout. But for many Russians the corporation that was once one of the world's largest is emblematic of Russia's resurgence. Gazprom did not respond to request for comment.

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