|All Sources > The Current Digest of the Russian Press (DA-CDRP) > The Current Digest of the Russian Press > 2016 > No. 46, Vol. 68|
Government Minister Arrested on Corruption Charges
LATYNINA: BRIBERY CHARGES AGAINST MINISTER OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ULYUKAYEV LINKED TO KREMLIN TURF WAR OVER BASHNEFT PRIVATIZATION
TWO POINTLESS MILLIONS. (By Yulia Latynina. Novaya gazeta, Nov. 16, 2016, p. 3. Complete text:) In the small hours of Nov. 15, the Russian Investigative Committee launched a criminal case against Economic Development Minister Aleksei Ulyukayev. The charges: accepting a bribe of $2 million in cash for giving a "positive assessment that allowed Rosneft to purchase a controlling stake in Bashneft [see Current Digest, Vol. 68, No. 39, pp. 15 - 16]."
The bribe itself was accepted back on the night of Nov. 14, [investigators] claim. Ulyukayev was brought in for questioning just a few hours later - so the incumbent minister could be questioned at the crack of dawn, just like in the good old 1930s, without getting a chance to get his head together or call a lawyer.
The charges against Ulyukayev look ridiculous. After all, the privatization of Bashneft was the subject of a huge clan war that played out behind the scenes in the Kremlin over the last couple of months, with the president playing the role of the main arbiter.
It started back when Sistema CEO Vladimir Yevtushenkov, who owned a controlling stake in Bashneft, was placed under house arrest [see Current Digest, Vol. 66, No. 37, pp. 12 - 14]. [At the time,] Rosneft categorically denied any involvement in what was happening, but everything fell into place when Yevtushenkov did not challenge the state’s repossession of [his] controlling stake, and he was released.
There were also rumors that Yevtushenkov was the sole owner of Bashneft. In fact, Sistema got control over Bashneft in 2009 - a year after Dmitry Medvedev became president.
It was rumored in the business world that Medvedev helped Yevtushenkov [get control over Bashneft], and that Yevtushenkov was placed under house ...