Russian President Vladimir Putin sacked Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev over bribery charges

November 15, 2016 10:30 pm

Russian Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev (C) is escorted to a court room in Moscow, , November 15, 2016. (Photo by AP)

Russian President has dismissed Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev, the Kremlin says after the official was charged with taking bribe to approve a state takeover.
Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, announced the development on Tuesday, saying that Putin has lost his trust in Ulyukayev.
The 60-year-old minister was detained late Monday after he allegedly took a $2-million bribe for endorsing a $5.2-billion bid by Rosneft, Russia’s biggest oil company, to purchase a majority stake in oil producer, Bashneft.
Russia’s Investigative Committee said it had charged Ulyukayev with “receiving bribes” after he “illegally demanded” a payment from Rosneft to approve the deal.
Investigators also accused the politician of threatening and using his ministerial powers “to create obstacles to the company (Rosneft)’s activities in the future.”
On Tuesday, a Moscow court put the official under house arrest until January 15 during the ongoing probe into the case. However, the minister has denied the charges.
If found guilty, the Russian official could be imprisoned for up to 15 years.
Ulyukayev, who was appointed economy minister in 2013, is the highest-ranking official to face prosecution since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.
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