The Minister of economic development Alexei Ulyukayev, was arrested on bribery charges in $2 million to help produce a major oil deal.
The speaker is under investigation for suspicion of bribery in exchange for his "positive assessment" of state ownership of the oil giant Rosneft, Russia's Investigative Committee said on Tuesday. Rosneft has completed the acquisition of a controlling stake of the Russian government in Bashneft last month.
The speaker was under investigation for over a year and was caught taking a bribe, according to the state news Agency RIA Novosti, citing officials in the Investigative Committee. Rosneft declined to comment on the investigation, but said that the deal with Bashneft is based on the Russian laws.
"We see no risk to this transaction," said the press-Secretary of Rosneft Mikhail Leontyev. Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev discussed the detention of the Minister, according to state media.
"These are serious allegations," said the press Secretary of the Kremlin Dmitry Peskov. "And the verdict on the compliance of these charges can be imposed only by the court." The speaker remains in custody while the investigation continues.
Former Deputy Minister of Finance and Chairman of the Central Bank, he was appointed Minister of economic development more than three years ago. If he is found guilty, he faces a fine of up to $200 million, or from 8 to 15 years of imprisonment.
sections: Politics, Accidents, Accidents