Yakunin denies involvement in Bombardiergate

Yakunin denies involvement in Bombardiergate
Ex-head of Russian Railways Vladimir Yakunin

The former head of Russian Railways (RR) referred to the fact an intermediary was engaged in everything, and not the state monopoly itself.⁠

Former RR head Vladimir Yakunin announced his non-involvement in the corruption scandal involving a Russian employee of Bombardier company.

Commenting on media reports about the corruption ties of his friends with the Swedish branch of the Canadian company, in an interview with RBC Yakunin made it plain that he had nothing to do with the case, noting that it was an intermediary of the national rail carrier who dealt with the transaction, not RR itself.

According to Yakunin, it was all the fault of the private partner "on our part and private partner of Bombardier who did not agree". As a result, there was a private enterprise between Alstom Transport and Transmashholding. "Before that they had already worked with RR, we had problems with automatic transfers, they made this system. This concludes all my contacts and knowledge", Yakunin said.

At the same time, the reports did not feature the joint production of electric locomotives by Russian Transmashholding and French Alstom Transport, but the supply of equipment for railways from Sweden – Ebilock-950.

In March this year Sweden detained a Russian citizen – an employee of the Swedish branch of Canadian company Bombardier. Three more members of the board of directors of the Swedish branch are in the status of suspects in the bribery case.

During the first court hearings it became clear that the Swedish branch of the world machine-building giant conquered the CIS markets through bribes and kickbacks, as well as through the use of shell companies affiliated with Yakunin's friends.

The name of the former RR head can be found in the official note as of 2014. In addition, the company, through which the Swedish branch of the world engineering giant supplied its products to Russia, – Multiserv Overseas Ltd. – is associated with the adviser of Yakunin and his friend – Andrey Krapivin. The company was registered in 2010 in London, and its first director was one of the partners of Krapivin – Yury Obodovsky. Now it is controlled by Andrey Krapivin's son Alexey. As the Panama Papers say, in addition to it he owns at least 11 offshore companies registered in Panama, the British Virgin Islands and the US state of Delaware. Obodovsky at the same time was the deputy chairman of the board of directors of Elteza JSC – a joint venture of Bombardier and RR.

As a result of such a complicated scheme, the route of the products from Sweden to Russia passes through the British Virgin Islands and the UK, increasing their cost several-fold.

Slon publication calculated that only for the period since 2012 to 2013 the companies of Krapivin and his closest business partners could enrich themselves at the expense of the state monopoly for 200 billion rubles ($3.5bn).

Currently Yakunin demonstrates complete indifference to his previous work. In particular, on May 16, as a representative of the Foundation of Andrew the First-Called, he made a report on "Why the ideas of the Bolsheviks are close to society 100 years after the revolution" at the round table. On the sidelines he also added that after leaving the post of Russian Railways head, he does not miss his early life. First of all, due to the fact that his name was less often mentioned in the media, which "any normal person" can only dream about. That the media "writes as little as possible about him, lies as little as possible, and interferes his life as little as possible". At the same time, according to him, work at the department at the Dialogue of Civilizations institute, in the Foundation, makes his life even more eventful than before. "I would like to land a little, recover breath, or at any moment wings may grow", the former chief railroad worker added.

Yakunin was at the helm of Russian Railways since 2005 to 2015.

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