Took a bribe: four main questions about the arrest of the speaker

For what have detained the head of Ministry of economic development?

Alexei Ulyukayev, was detained on Monday evening, November 14. As reported the representative of the RCDS Svetlana Petrenko, it was in that moment, when the Minister of economic development was transferred to a bribe of $2 million for a positive evaluation of the deal for the privatization of “Bashneft”, “Rosneft”. The case was initiated under article “receiving a bribe in especially large size” (part 6, item 290 of the criminal code). “The speaker caught red-handed when receiving a bribe. We are talking about extortion, coupled with threats in the address of representatives of “Rosneft”, — said Petrenko.

According to a source familiar with the investigation, Alexey Ulyukaev was in the development of the law enforcement agencies not less than one year. Operational support of the case was conducted by Department of own safety of the FSB. Intelligence officers controlled the transfer of money to the Minister, “as was the case with the Governor of the Kirov region Nikita Belykh,” said the source . Permission to wiretap, the Minister of economic development Alexei Ulyukayev, the court issued in late summer, said a source in law enforcement bodies.

During the arrest the speaker “tried to call the patrons, but in vain”, reports “Interfax” citing a source. In interviews, Minister of economic development with representatives of “Rosneft” on the privatization of “Bashneft” there were threats, the Agency said.

On the morning of Tuesday, November 15, the speaker was brought in for questioning in the TFR.

The Minister of economic development Alexei Ulyukayev did not personally receive the money, which is imposed as a bribe, said “the New newspaper” with reference to their sources and confirmed two people in the FSB. According to them, cash in the amount of $2 million was placed in a Bank cell, however, the speaker money not withdrawn.

Why $2 million?

In comparison with the cost of privatization of “Bashneft” the amount of the alleged bribes are small. 10 Oct Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree on the sale to Rosneft of 50.08% of “Bashneft”, and on 12 October, Rosneft transferred to the budget for this package 329,69 billion rubles ($5.3 billion).

“To extort $2 million for the approval of a transaction for the purchase of “Bashneft” is very similar to fiction. $2 million — is the level of Deputy mayor of the city, — says Deputy Director of “transparency international — Russia” Ilya Shumanov. — To extort money from “Rosneft” could a person just from another galaxy”.

In 2015, Ulyukayev declared the income in the amount of 60 million rubles, and together with his wife — 75 million rubles ($1.1 million) In property of the Minister more than a dozen land plots with a total area of 157 thousand square meters, as well as house and apartment with a total area of 756 sq. m, except for a few plots of land and houses in the Crimea, written to his wife.

The speaker the second time this year is at the center of a corruption scandal. In the spring his name was mentioned in connection with the publication of the data obtained as a result of leakage of information from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonsec.

In the documents it was noted that the son of the Minister of economic development Alexei Ulyukayev Dmitri was a Director of the company Ronnieville Ltd, established in the British virgin Islands in November 2004 (at the time the speaker is a senior he held the post of first Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank). Formal violation of the law it was not, but the staff of the International consortium of investigative journalists (ICIJ) and the Center for the study of corruption and organized crime (OCCRP), who studied “the Panama archives”, drew attention to the fact that Dmitry Ulyukayev at the time was only 21 years old.

In 2006, instead Ulyukayev, Jr., Director Ronnieville was some Julia Krapina and remained in this status until the liquidation of the company in may 2009. The authors of the investigation suggest the possibility that the wife of the Minister Ulyukayev, based on a similarity between a photo from a copy of the passport Rapinoe found in the database Mossack Fonseca, and later the available on the Internet that depicted a Minister, his wife and newborn daughter. In addition, the birthplace of Rapinoe passport is the Crimea, and the speaker declared the house and land in the Crimea, written just for the spouse. Finally, according to the team of investigative journalists, Yulia Krapina was listed as a research fellow of the Gaidar Institute, where until 2000 he worked as the speaker.

Will the criminal case on the privatization of “Bashneft”?

In RCDS noted that the legitimacy of Rosneft’s acquisition of shares of “Bashneft” is not in doubt.

Two sources in the financial-economic bloc of the government rule out the possibility of reviewing the transaction for the privatization of “Bashneft”. One of them says that the deal for the sale of a controlling stake in the oil company Rosneft “was held purely” from the point of view of procedure, but because “no one to challenge her will not.” According to another source, the deal was made within the legal framework, and the story of the Minister is his concern.

Partner of the company “FBK Grant Thornton” and the head of corporate practice “FBK-the Right” Alexander Ermolenko indicates that any transaction is valid until it is challenged. “In all transactions which can be challenged, you need to look for interested persons — those who decide to challenge her. The state represented by Rosimushchestvo and economic development — hardly interested in the fact that this deal “Unscrew” ago, the government wanted to obtain the money [and received]. Rosneft was interested in obtaining the asset. Third party — in the face of law enforcement. But the prosecution is unlikely to be resolved,” he says.

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With Ermolenko not agree with analysts of investment company “Aton”.”The speaker is a key player in the privatization of 19.5% of Rosneft shares, and so his detention could jeopardize the completion of the transaction before the end of the year (according to the latest government order, the transaction must be closed before December 5),” — said in today’s market.

In late July, Ulyukayev along with other senior officials (Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich and presidential aide Andrei Belousov) was strongly against the participation of “Rosneft” in the privatization of “Bashneft. “From my point of view, “Rosneft” — the wrong buyer for this asset,” he told reporters on July 29. After a month the speaker changed his position. On 2 September he declared that “Rosneft” technically will still be allowed to participate in the transaction. Then he explained that in the privatization law there is a provision “that in case the transaction is in the interests of development of the stock market are not subject to the requirement that the company, which has 25% or more (state-ownership), were not allowed”. “Technically, under this provision, and that directly “Rosneft” is not a state, but through a “layer”, that is “Rosneftegaz”, — technically it is allowed,” he said.

As the detention of the speaker will affect the balance of elites?

For the first time that the President is Vladimir Putin, delayed the acting Minister. Experts agree that this suggests the removal of immunity of a broad segment of the elites. In addition, it can lead to serious revision of the balance of power in the elites: on the one hand increases the influence of the head of “Rosneft” Igor Sechin and the siloviki, on the other hand “falling action” system liberals in the Cabinet.

Now the liberal block of the government will feel very insecure, since removed immunity with a significant stratum of the elite, 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” [the inner circle of Vladimir Putin] had not been,” — says the President of “Minchenko consulting” Evgenie Minchenko.

The shrinking resource base in the country, as well as the need to strengthen the power and authority of the President require “new solutions”, — said the head of “Political expert group” Konstantin Kalachev

“It’s time to answer the query of justice. We don’t happen to often quote [a well-known fighter with corruption former Prime Minister of Singapore] Lee Kwang Yu And incidentally for someone to solve other problems within the spheres of influence and struggle for resources. But about redistribution do not know a few, but for most the message sounds definitely is not untouchable,” says Kalachev . The experts agreed that the arrest was a serious blow to the liberal system and government in General.