Companies affiliated with Medinsky earn $1.8m on contracts with Ministry of Culture
Firms that received million-dollar contracts belong to the relatives and friends of the Minister of Culture. The anti-corruption center of the Yabloko party believes that it is a cartel agreement.
Interrelated companies, owned by the relatives and business partners of Minister Medinsky, shared state orders for the organization of a number of festivals and conferences of the Ministry of Culture. In total, the company earned 106.3 million rubles. This is reported by the anti-corruption center of the Yabloko party, which found signs of a cartel agreement between the companies.
The anti-corruption center found 12 competitive public procurements organized by the Ministry of Culture or its subordinate structures. Four companies became winners of the following competitions: Media-Consulting, SV Dot.Ru, Strategicheskiye Kommunikatsii (Strategic Communications) and Media-Art. And in some of the tenders, two of these companies participated without contenders. Yabloko's lawyers suspect that all firms are affiliated with Vladimir Medinsky.
The above companies are connected through common managers. For instance, the co-owner of Strategic Communications, Yulia Sharkova, was previously the CEO in Media-Consulting, and the current head of this company, Svetlana Malkarova, is the founder of Media-Art. The owner of Media-Consulting, Elena Krechetova, is Medinsky’s old friend: she heads the trust fund of the Russian Military Historical Society, which is chaired by the Minister of Culture.
Moreover, the firms have the same telephone number indicated in the unified state register of legal entities. The same number is used by two companies established by Medinsky’s former business partner Yegor Moskvin: Innovatsionniye Tekhnologii LLC (Innovative Technologies) and Korporatskiya Ya (Corporation Ya) OJSC. The CEO and owner of Innovative Technologies is Minister’s wife, Marina Medinskaya. As for Corporation Ya OJSC, this company is engaged in providing advertising services and is currently under liquidation; it was founded by Medinsky in 1992.
"This kind of ties and collusion of Culture Ministry authorized undertakers indicates Medinsky’s partiality," claims the anti-corruption center.
The Ministry of Culture categorically denied the likelihood of a cartel agreement during state purchases: the representatives of the Ministry told the RBC correspondents that the information provided by Yabloko is "untrue."
The corruption-fighters appealed to the Federal Antimonopoly Service with a request to verify information on the cartel agreement. The department said that they have not received the appeal yet, adding that cartel agreements in the Ministry of Culture had never been revealed before. According to Darya Silkova, the deputy head of the FAS public relations department, similar forms of restriction of competition have recently been found in the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Defense and in the supply of equipment for elections.