Araz Agalarov сompany to become Vostochny spaceport general contractor
The Crocus Group offered to finish the spaceport associated with many corruption scandals after the former general contractor broke deadlines without starting work on time.
Billionaire Araz Agalarov's Crocus Group company may become a new Roscosmos contractor for the construction of the Vostochny cosmodrome. RBC and The Bell report citing sources close to the structures of Roscosmos.
According to The Bell interlocutors, negotiations with the Crocus Group are still in the process, but Agalarov’s company is expected to build the launch table for the Angara super-heavy rocket. The project cost is estimated at 40 billion rubles.
The idea to engage Agalarov's structure arose after the former general contractor (PSO Kazan) broke deadlines without starting work on time.
An RBC source noted that Agalarov’s company would become a new contractor with a 90% probability since there are no contractors of this level beyond the Urals. According to the source, Crocus Group is the only contractor with experience in implementing complex projects in the eastern part of the country.
In 2018, the company of the person ranked 54th in the rating of the wealthiest people of Russia (a fortune of $1.8 billion) initially specialized in the construction and operation of retail and exhibition real estate. However, the Crocus Group company has been engaged in responsible government orders, The Bell notes. For example, in 2013, the Crocus Group built the infrastructure and the Far Eastern Federal University for the APEC summit on Russian island in Primorye, and then the stadiums for the World Championships in Kaliningrad and Rostov-on-Don. Agalarov noted in one of the interviews to RBC that working with the state "is difficult, he does not participate in tenders, and usually undertakes such projects only on behalf of someone."
The construction of the Vostochny cosmodrome began in 2011, and in 2015, the investigating authorities began to launch criminal proceedings for embezzlement and corruption crimes at the construction site. Last year, the Prosecutor General’s Office estimated the amount of theft during the construction of the cosmodrome at 10 billion rubles, 140 criminal cases were initiated, and 50 people were convicted. Among them, head of the former construction contractor - the Pacific Bridge Construction Company (TMK) - Igor Nesterenko and the former head of Dalspetsstroy, Yury Khrzyman.
The problems of Vostochny were one of the reasons for the liquidation of the first general contractor of the facility, the Federal Special Construction Service (Spetsstroy). Its functions were assumed directly by the Ministry of Defense.
The delivery of objects to Vostochny was repeatedly postponed. Thus, according to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, the construction of the first stage was supposed to end last year, but so far only a quarter of the planned facilities have been built.
It concerns entrepreneur Dmitry Motorin, Boris Usherovich, a co-owner of the Group of Companies 1520, and Novoe Vremya board member, Ivan Stankevich. Motorin is accused of giving a bribe on an especially large scale, and Stankevich and Usherovich are charged with bribe-taking.
This week, the judicial debates in the trial of Vladimir Barsukov-Kumarin charged with creation of Tambovskie organized criminal group have been finished in the Kuibyshevsky District Court of St. Petersburg. If the court upholds the stance of the state prosecution, the once-influential criminal ‘authority’ may be convicted to almost 25 years behind bars. In reality, this translates into a life term for the legend of criminal St. Petersburg.