Igor Yevgenyevich Levitin (Russian: Игорь Евгеньевич Левитин) (born 21 February 1952) is a Russian political figure, Aide to the President of the Russian Federation since September 2013, and Class 1 Active State Advisor of the Russian Federation (2013). He previously served as the Minister of Transport of the Russian Federation (from 9 March 2004 until 21 May 2012). He is the Chairman of Supervisory Board of the Table Tennis Federation of Russia. He is also a member of the President Advisory Council at the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) and president of European Table Tennis Union until March 2022 when he stepped down temporarily due to the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.
|Minister of Transport|
9 March 2004 – 21 May 2012
|Prime Minister||Mikhail Fradkov|
|Preceded by||Sergey Frank|
|Succeeded by||Maksim Sokolov|
|Born||February 21, 1952|
Tsebrikovo, Odessa Oblast, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union
In 1970, at the age of 18, he was called up for military service. In 1973, he graduated from Mikhail Frunze Leningrad Command College of Railroad Troops and Military Communications. He began his service as Assistant Military Commandant in Odessa military command region at Transnistrian Railway. Between 1976 and 1980 he served in Southern Group of Soviet Armed Forces in Budapest. In 1983, he graduated from Military Academy of Rearward and Transportation having been trained as a railway engineer. From 1983 to 1985 he served as Military Commandant of a railway district and Urgal station at Baikal–Amur Mainline (BAM). He participated in the laying of the Golden Link.[a] From 1985 to 1994 he served in the military communication bodies at Moscow railway as a railway district Military Commandant and later as a Deputy Head of Moscow Military Railway Communications Service. His rank is colonel in reserve.
In 1994, Levitin changed his occupation to join Financial and Industrial Company of Railway Transport. where in 1995 he was appointed a vice president. In 1996, he joined Severstaltrans (a subsidiary of Severstal Group), which was founded as one of the first private competitors to Russian Railways. In the company, Levitin was responsible, among all, for transport machine building and railway transportation. After two years of service, he became Deputy Chief Executive Officer. During the same period, he was a member of the Public Council at the Government Commission of Russian Federation on the reform of railway transport. He was actively participating in research of cargo routing.
On March 9, 2004, Levitin was appointed Minister of Transport and Communications (Russian: Министр транспорта и связи) in Mikhail Fradkov's First Cabinet. In May 2004, the Ministry of Transport and Communications was split into two: Ministry of Transport (headed by Levitin) and Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (headed by Leonid Reiman) during Fradkov's Second Cabinet. In Viktor Zubkov's government formed on September 14, 2007, Levitin remained in the same post. He continued his service as Minister of Transport in the next Cabinet (formed on May 12, 2008) under Vladimir Putin.
Upon assuming his office, Levitin reduced the central apparatus of the Ministry by over 20% following the decree on state personnel reduction issued by the state leadership. About two thousand officials were dismissed across regional and local bodies, while the Ministry apparatus faced a fourfold reduction.
On October 3, 2005 in Brussels, Levitin and EU Commissioner for Transport Jacques Barrot signed a joint agreement, which determined the general principles, goals, and structure of the Russia – EU dialogue in the area of transport and infrastructure. In early 2007, Levitin as Chairman of an Intergovernmental Commission negotiated the cooperation with Latvia. As a result, in spring 2007 Russia and Latvia finally signed the border agreement, which had long been a controversial issue. In December 2007, Levitin and Foreign Minister of Lithuania Petras Vaitiekūnas signed an agreement on navigation in Curonian Lagoon as well as inland waterways of Kaliningrad Oblast. According to the document, authorisation-based rules for foreign navigation in the Russian waters were cancelled. The Russian ships received in these waters equal rights with the Lithuanian vessels.
In late October 2008, Levitin was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors at Aeroflot, one of the biggest Russian carriers. He was also a member the Public Council at the Government Commission on the reform of railway transport.
Between March and June 2012, he served as Interim Head of Maritime Collegium of the Russian Federation. From May 22, 2012 to September 2, 2013, he was Advisor to the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin. On 2 September 2013 he was appointed Aide to the President. In August 2012, he became a member of the Presidential Council of the Russian Federation on the development of physical culture and sport. On 25 September 2013 he became Deputy Chairman of the Presidential Council of the Russian Federation on the development of physical culture and sport.
Following a decree (3 September 2012) by the Administration of the President of Russian Federation he was appointed Secretary of State Council of the Russian Federation. On October 17, 2013 Levitin became a member of Presidential Economic Council of the Russian Federation.
Media have pointed out active development of table tennis in Russia since Levitin joined the Table Tennis Federation of Russia (TTFR). In particular, a lot of efforts have been focused on participation in the activities of the International and Continental Federations. As a result, in 2007 Russia hosted the Table Tennis World Cup in Saint Petersburg. In May 2014, he was elected Vice President of the Russian Olympic Committee. In October 2014, Levitin became a member of Supervisory Council on hosting the 2018 Football World Cup. Upon Levitin’s initiative, since 2015 Russia has celebrated the World Table Tennis Day.
In 2006-08 Levitin was President of the Table Tennis Federation of Russia. In 2008 he became Chair of the Board of Trustees of the TTFR. Levitin engaged Russia – on many occasions as a host country – in a number of competitions, including the ITTF World Tour since 2006; World Cup 2009; European Super Cup; European Championships (2008 and 2015); and World Team Cup. He prepared to host the 2017 European Under 21 Championship in Sochi. He also prepared the bid to host the 2020 World Team Cup in Yekaterinburg. With support of Levitin, table tennis centres have been created in several cities of Russia, including Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Yekaterinburg (Olympic training centre for Russian national teams and Tatiana Ferdman’s Table Tennis School), Kazan, Sorochinsk, Orenburg, and the Chuvash Republic. A number of ETTU and ITTF tennis tournaments were held there, and presently these centres serve as training platforms for the youth of the reserve national teams, and host get-togethers with foreign teams.
Levitin has drastically improved the funding of Russia’s national teams. Procedures of rehabilitation and training have been set, which involve high profile physicians, psychologists, massage therapists, and foreign specialists. Under Levitin, the Board of Trustees organises regular seminars and workshops for coaches and referees in various regions of Russia. Foreign speakers have often been invited, including Richard Prause, Ferenc Korsai, and Dubravko Skoric. With support of Levitin, Team Cup of Russia became one of the strongest competitions not only in Europe, but at the world level. Russian clubs are attended by Vladimir Samsonov (Belarus), Dimitrij Ovtcharov (Germany), and Jun Mizutani (Japan). With the support of the Referee Committee of the Federation, Levitin is improving the rules and the system of running the competition in table tennis.
Levitin is married to Nataliya Igorevna Levitina (Russian: Наталья Игоревна Левитина) (b. May 21, 1954) who is a housewife that oversees the Pan Press Publishing (Russian: «Пан-пресс»), a part of Dormashinvest (Russian: «Дормашинвест»).