Russia’s Minister Alexei Ulyukayev has been accused of taking a bribe to endorse a state takeover. According to the Russian Investigative Committee, the economy minister received a payment of $2m.
Russian anti-corruption body revealed that the economy minister is corrupted. Mr Ulyukayev (60) has involved into the dirty payments, one of these $2m can be a solid reason for sending him to a jail.
On 14 November, Mr Ulyukayev was caught red-handed while taking the bribe, said the Russian Investigative Committee spokeswoman Ms Petrenko. The minister promised his assistance for giving a favourable assessment of the Rosneft deal. If found guilty, economy minister could face a prison sentence of between eight and 15 years.
Many Russian political observers find this arrest ‘strange’, others call it logical FSB-operation. The Ulyukayev’s arrest was big news on Russia’s state-run TV channels, under the headline “Battle against corruption”.
Mr Ulyukayev and month of surveillance
The arrest of Mr Ulyukayev followed the FSB sting operation, in frame of which ‘the subject’ was under electronic surveillance, including phone-tapping. Despite the Russian Investigative Committee results and catching ‘red-handed while taking the bribe’, Novaya Gazeta insists on the innocence of the minister Ulyukayev. According to the NG’s publication, the Russian minister didn’t take any money.
Mr Ulyukayev himself described the arrest as “strange and surprising”. Business leader Alexander Shokhin was shocked with such news about the bribe, he told Ulyukayev that “You would have to be insane”, he said, to try to extort money after the takeover went through, and particularly from Rosneft head Igor Sechin – “actually one of the most influential people in our country”.