Peskov: Putin knew of Ulyukaev’s impending arrest
The Press Secretary for the President of Russia said Vladimir Putin had information on the case of the Economic Development Minister.
The Russian President Vladimir Putin has been receiving all the information since the operation against Alexey Ulyukaev started. According to TASS, this was claimed by the presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov.
The Government’s press service said Dmitry Medvedev had already discussed the arrest with Vladimir Putin. The Prime Minister stressed the need for a thorough investigation of all the details of the case, it is said.
Earlier, RIA Novosti referred to an informed source reporting that Ulyukaev has been watched for over a year by the FSB. The findings have become the basis for a case of bribe-taking on a large scale initiated by the Main Investigation Department for particularly important cases (part 6 of Art. 290 of the Criminal Code). According to the investigation, the Minister received $2 million to get approval for the Rosneft to buy state-owned shares of Bashneft.
Dmitry Peskov also said he did not know whether they could reconsider the privatization deal of Bashneft. We should remind that late in July it was reported that Vladimir Putin had prohibited the Government to sell Bashneft to Rosneft, justifying it by the fact that state-owned companies cannot buy privatized assets. However, in October state-owned controlling stake of Bashneft was still sold to Rosneft for 330 million rubles. At Russia Calling! forum the President rationalized that decision, first, saying that Rosneft was not an entirely state-owned company (indeed, the state holds a controlling stake of 69.5%, and almost 20% is owned by BP). Secondly, Rosneft offered "the highest bidder" for Bashneft’s controlling stake, Mr. Putin said.