Finance Ministry may use budget funds to repay ₽ 900-million debt officials owe for VIP flights
The Rossiya Special Flight Detachment owes the money to Aeroflot for all the flights senior officials have had.
About 900 million rubles have to be reimbursed to Aeroflot for the VIP flights that the Rossiya Special Flight Detachment (Rossiya SFD) has provided to Russian top officials. The Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich had instructed to resolve the debt matter back in October.
As Kommersant wrote in an article, Aeroflot won Rossiya-organized tender to become the one providing its services late in 2015. Starting price for public procurement was estimated at 3.9 billion rubles (about 185 millions per one service). Aeroflot then obtained the right to carry official delegations and top officials around Russia and abroad. The company has won a number of such tenders since 2012 with the total volume of payments being 12.5 billion rubles. The list of the carrier’s expenses included: maintenance of aircrafts, meteorological services, crew accommodation and catering, medical services, etc.
Yesterday, the Rossiya SFD announced another tender on the public procurement portal, this one for 2.18 billion rubles and in 2017. According to the newspaper, next year will see a 13% drop (1.9 billion rubles) in transport appropriations from the budget against this year’s figures. Kommersant’s source says that the presidential manager initiated the budget reduction. However, no funds will be saved, they will simply be redirected to something "not transport-related". This redistribution is meant to repay the debt to Aeroflot, as offered by the Finance Ministry. Though, to make this possible, some amendments have to be introduced to the budget law.
The prosecutors want the former Russian Federation Council member to go to prison for 14 years instead of 9 and pay a 500-million-ruble ($8.8 million) fine instead of 70 million rubles ($1.2 million).