The notorious "Yeltsin's Family" is a financial-political clan that arose in the Yeltsin era. It has long caused the annoyance among other groups due to its economic power and exclusive political influence. Until recently they have put up with this supposing the Family was inert and gradually declining.
However, the family refuses to agree with such estimates and lately it has started a real political and economic expansion. The mergence of Sibneft and YUKOS should be considered from this viewpoint.
The economic meaning of this event for the Family is receiving free means for buying up energy assets in order to monitor the reforming Russian Joint Energy Systems (RJES). The Family is close to achieving this goal. The objective of reforming the Communications Ministry is similar.
The political meaning of the tandem is also rather transparent - it unites its efforts with the Russian political field and transforms Russia from a presidential into a parliamentary-presidential republic. This power system will make it possible for the leading tycoon group to convert its economic monopoly into political monopoly and for good relieve itself from the possible threat from the top power.
Besides, there is a so-called national reason: a number of large corporations have decided that Russia needs a strong centralised government capable of providing the stability so important for the nation and its large companies. An oligarchic republic system is definitely unable to create such a government, and it could lead to the break-up of Russia.
Hence, it was necessary to form an alliance with the "security structures" on the following conditions: corporations support the security structures in exchange to admitting them to be "system-forming" and national; the legacy of the Family can be divided for mutual satisfaction. At the same time, any anti-Family moves would have vast public support, thus providing a new long-term credit of trust for the regime.