The Minister of economic development Alexei Ulyukayev, was detained on Monday, November 14. He was accused of “receiving a bribe in especially large size” (part 6, item 290 of the criminal code). “We are talking about extortion, coupled with threats in the address of representatives of “Rosneft”, — said the representative of the Investigative Committee, Svetlana Petrenko. According to her, the Minister promised the representatives of the oil company to create further barriers to their activities.
According to the TFR, Ulyukayev was handed $2 million for a positive evaluation of the deal for the privatization of “Bashneft”, “Rosneft”. How the Minister got the money is unknown. “Novaya Gazeta”, citing its sources, and two of the interlocutor in FSB say that $2 million was placed in a Bank cell, however, the speaker money not withdrawn.
In the TFR insist that the speaker was caught red-handed. Information about the banking unit in the Department called “based on nothing fantasies and speculation.”
One of the lawyers speaker Timofei Gridnev in an interview with Business FM said that his client pleads not guilty. “Mr Ulyukayev believes that what happened in the office of “Rosneft”, it is a provocation against the state officials,” said Gridnev. He also added that Ulyukayev will not testify until the prosecution will not be specified, and the evidence is not available.
The official representative “Rosneft” refused to comment on the investigative actions and did not confirm or deny the fact of detention of the speaker in the office.
The case of the head of Ministry of economic development entrusted to the investigator Novel Nesterov, who previously led the case of brothers Alex and Oleg Navalny. During the meeting of the Basmanny court Nesterov asked about house arrest.
On the application of “Rosneft”
A criminal case was initiated after the investigation Committee asked the representatives of Rosneft, said on the Agency’s website.
The speaker was the development of the law enforcement agencies not less than one year, said the source familiar with the investigation. Operational support of the case is engaged in the FSB, but not without the help of Rosneft. According to “Novaya Gazeta”, “operational-technical measures” in respect of the Minister was held on the initiative and with the direct participation of the head of the security service of the oil company Oleg Feoktistov, which, according to the publication, “head of security as a seconded employee of the FSB.”
Until August 2016 Feoktistov took the post of first Deputy head of the CSS of the FSB. On the decisive role Feoktistova in the arrest of the speaker talking and two people close to the leadership of the FSB, and two employees of security services of large companies. Feoktistov they called one of the most influential forces in the country. The other two people close to the leadership of the FSB, said that rapid development Ulyukayev employees of “Rosneft” could be associated with the claims to the Minister by the leadership of the country. Peskov to comment on this information refused.
Speaker was detained by the staff of the third Department of the “K” of the economic security Service (SEB) of the FSB and the sixth service of management of own safety of the FSB, says “New”. Interlocutors note that at the final stage of the actions of the security forces were coordinated by the head of SEB FSB Sergei Korolev. Directly supervised the operation of the head of management of own safety of FSB Alexey Komkov and the head of Department “To” SEB FSB Ivan Tkachev (his office is engaged in counter-intelligence security in credit-financial sphere).
The FSB had bugged the phone of the speaker with the summer of 2016, so the intelligence officers were able to hear his threats when discussing privatization of “Bashneft”, noted the representative of the RCDS Petrenko. “During the arrest the speaker was trying to get patrons, but in vain,” — said the press Secretary of the Ministry. What about the patrons in question, Petrenko said.
About business speaker known to the President, said press Secretary of Vladimir Putin Dmitry Peskov: “It was reported, at the beginning of rapid development”.
After the arrest of the speaker under attack may be even several senior officials, said the source close to the leadership of the FSB. According to him, we are talking about the Minister of Finance Anton Siluanov and Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich. The representative of Dvorkovich declined to comment
The speaker was among the most ardent opponents of participation “Rosneft” in the privatization of “Bashneft”. “From my point of view, “Rosneft” — the wrong buyer for this asset,” he said on July 29, answering a question of journalists. The fact that the law on privatization of state and municipal property prohibits companies with state share over 25% to participate in privatization.
Dvorkovich also opposed the deal. In late July, he said that Rosneft will not be able to participate in the privatization of “Bashneft”, as it is indirectly state-owned company (the state controls 69.5% of Rosneft through state holding Rosneftegaz). “It was decided not to allow to participate in the privatization of state-controlled companies, and this includes both direct control and indirect”, — he pointed out. Then the press Secretary, Natalya Timakova, explained that Dvorkovich expressed the official position of the government.
Later, officials changed their views. So, September 2, Ulyukayev said that Rosneft formally will still be allowed to participate in the transaction.
Speaker three weeks ago put the resignation letter on the Desk of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev from-for disagreement with the fact that Bashneft was sold to Rosneft, said a source familiar with the Minister. He claims that this happened immediately after the completion of the transaction. According to him, the Minister did not demand any money from “Rosneft” for the issuance of permits for this deal. While officials pressured him to grant the permission, said the source . Information about what the speaker was going to resign, confirmed the Ministry of economic development. “Everyone knew that he’s going to quit. Just no one expected that in this way”, — he said .
The Federal official said that the criminal case against the speaker is not connected with attempt to put pressure on Medvedev and the liberal bloc of the government, which belonged to the speaker, as well as Dvorkovich, Siluanov and first Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov. It’s personal with Ulyukaev, said the source. However, he doubts that the bills took someone from the leadership of “Rosneft”. Privatization has passed, so Rosneft will initiate the attack on the speaker, said the source.
The fate of the government
Ulyukayev supported the “old opponents Sechin” — Shuvalov and Dvorkovich, said a source close to the Kremlin. “To hold a Minister is a calling system the old elite. A challenge to all who are not in the inner circle and the apparent change in the rules of the game,” says the source.
Another source working for a major energy company, recalls that until recently, Medvedev was considered the main contender for the role of Putin’s successor in the event of early presidential elections in 2017. “Someone sawed the legs of the chair of the Prime Minister,” says the source. In his opinion, should continue the weakening of the team premiere: claims can appear to Dvorkovich, energy Minister Alexander Novak and Minister of natural resources Sergey Donskoy.
Now the liberal block of the government will feel very insecure, the head of the Centre for economic and political reforms Nikolay Mironov.
“Untouchable no more. The speaker held itself somewhat aloof, “roof” level of the members of the “Politburo” [close circle of Vladimir Putin] had not been,” — says the President of “Minchenko consulting” Evgenie Minchenko.
The economic crisis has intensified the struggle for spheres of influence and resource base, the head “Political expert group” Konstantin Kalachev. The detention of the head of Ministry of economic development is part of this struggle, said the analyst.