Ulyukaev threatened Rosneft
High-profile case of Minister of Economic Development of Russia Alexey Ulyukaev is a concentration of the problems of Russian politics, corruption, and privatization of state property. A two-million bribe has cast a shadow on Rosneft’s purchase of Bashneft’s shares.
As a CrimeRussia’s source reports, the new Сhief of Rosneft’s Security Service Oleg Feoktistov, who had been the Deputy Head of the FSB Internal Security Service until recently, has played a key role in the elaboration of the Russian Minister of Economic Development Alexey Ulyukaev, who had been detained red-handed on November 14 when taking a bribe.
Novaya Gazeta notes that FSB officers have conducted operative investigative measures in conjunction with the Head of Rosneft Security Service Oleg Feoktistov.
Under the official version, the Head of the FSB Internal Security Service Alexey Komkov and the Head of Department K of the FSB Economic Security Service Ivan Tkachev have led the operation to elaborate and detain Ulyukaev; during the final stage, their activities were coordinated by the Head of the FSB Economic Security Service Sergey Korolev. However, it is known that it is Feoktistov, who had been “seconded to Rosneft by an FSB officer” according to Novaya Gazeta’s source, who had been planning and supervising Ulyukaev’s detention.
Indeed, before joining Rosneft as Vice President of Security Service, Oleg Feoktistov served as the Deputy Chief of the Internal Security Service of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB Department no. 9) up to August 2016.
Feoktistov was appointed the Chief of Rosneft’s Security Service on September 20, succeeding the former Head of the Federal Drug Control Service in the Moscow region Vasily Yurchenko.
As it was previously reported, the general used to be one of the contenders for the post of the head of the FSB Internal Security Service in lieu of Sergey Korolev, however, Korolev, who had become the Head of the FSB Economic Security Service, recommended that the Head of the Internal Security Department no. 2 Alexey Komkov should be appointed as the Head of the Internal Security Service.
An experienced security professional Feoktistov is known for carrying out high-profile anti-corruption operations for FSB, such as the case of the Head and Deputy Head of the MIA General Administration for Economic Security and Combatting the Corruption Denis Sugrobov and Boris Kolesnikov, as well as the detention of the former Kirov Region Governor Nikita Belykh accused of bribe-taking.
However, the detention of the member of the Russian Government, theHead of the Ministry of Economic Development Ulyukaev is not just Feoktistov’s another personal victory over corruption, but a new milestone in the large-scale anti-corruption campaign of the Federal Security Service, which has been conducted during the recent years.
Alexey Ulyukaev in the Basmanny Court
The Russian Minister of Economic Development Alexey Valentinovich Ulyukaev was arrested as a result of special operation on the night of November 15 on suspicion of taking bribes on an especially large scale. The criminal proceedings against him were initiated under part 6 of Art. 290 of the Russian Criminal Code.
The Investigative Committee of Russia has reported that the minister was detained red-handed when receiving a bribe of 2 million dollars. According to the ICR Official Representative for Public and Media Relations Svetlana Petrenko, the Minister was supposed to receive the money in exchange for assisting Rosneft in acquiring the government’s stake of Bashneft Public Joint Stock Oil Company. In her words, Ulyukaev was arrested red-handed while taking a bribe from Rosneft representatives, and it “involved threatening.”
It is known that FSB officers were conducting the elaboration of the Minister of Economic Development for several months, being entitled by court to intercept telephone negotiations and spy upon the Minister. As the President’s Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov has told, Vladimir Putin was informed in detail about the investigative actions against Ulyukaev from the very beginning.
Peskov does not know whether the deal on privatization of Bashneft will be revised
Peskov has not ruled out the possibility of Bashneft privatization transaction renegotiation, which was not approved by Vladimir Putin at one time, arguing that state companies may not participate in privatization of other state-owned assets.
However, October 10, the Prime Minister Medvedev signed an executive order for the sale of Bashneft’s government stake (50.075 %) to Rosneft for 330 billion rubles; October 12, the parties declared the transaction completed.
Putin was asked about changing his decision to sell Bashneft at the Russia Calling! forum, to which the President replied that Rosneft is not really a state-owned company (20% owned by BP, about 10% - by other minorities), and besides, Rosneft had offered more than any other potential buyer for Bashneft’s assets.
According to investigation, there was another reason, due to which one the 69% state-owned company paid 330 billion rubles for state assets to another. The favorable conclusion on the transaction was issued by the Russian Ministry of Economic Development under the leadership of Alexey Ulyukaev, for which the Minister had received 2 million dollars.
However, the legality of Bashneft’s shares acquisition by Rosneft is not called into question. There is a clean title to the transaction, against which the Investigative Committee has no claims; the ICR Official Representative Svetlana Petrenko has emphasized this point. Regardless of the fact that the Government’s decision to allow Rosneft buy Bashneft’s shares came as a big surprise to Vladimir Putin, as he said.
The conversation between the President and the Prime Minister regarding the case of Ulyukaev has already taken place. During it, Dmitry Medvedev asked the President to hold the most thorough investigation in the case, which casts a shadow on the entire Government.
Medvedev asked Putin to thoroughly investigate the situation
The CrimeRussia’s informed source also notes that in the political context, Ulyukaev’s bribery incident is a serious blow to Dmitry Medvedev’s entire Government.
Commenting on Ulyukaev’s detention, Putin’s Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov says that “the Kremlin sees no reason for the resignation of Medvedev’s Government, as in this case, we are talking about personal charges; implicating some kind of collective responsibility is absurd.” Although, upon completion of the investigation, the personal charges will be put on Alexey Ulyukaev; but that is still a way off. The Minister categorically denies his guilt.
Recently, the FSB officers visited the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Primorsky District of St. Petersburg. The operatives of the Department M came to the police officers accompanied by the investigator and the search warrant. They were looking for evidence on the fact of falsification of a criminal case. However, a similar situation for the Primorsky Regional Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs is more likely to be a regular show: the staff of the administration and its superiors have appeared in high-profile criminal cases as defendants far too often.