Statement by Andrei Borodin

The accusation levelled today at Alexei Navalny is an extremely telling example of how the Russian authorities are fighting with the opposition in the broad sense of the word. No one doubts that Navalny is being persecuted for his political activity. By his participation in activities of the opposition and organization of protests and by his anti-corruption investigations, Alexei has scared the authorities. Yet, as we see, formally, the charge needed to neutralize Navalny has been brought under an “economic” article, which fact will later make it possible to deny the political nature of repression and talk about an “ordinary criminal act.”

The authorities use this simple trick every time when the need arises to punish political opponents or simply people who disagree with this or that aspect of what is happening in the country. There are no articles in the Russian criminal code that make a person liable for political views and activity. For those purposes, the Russian justice system, which has turned into an appendage of the executive branch of government, uses economic elements of crime. It is important to realize that and remember about that when we face a new high-profile economic case. In this sense, the Navalny case is a good example where utter absurdity of charges clearly displays the mechanism of unlawful use of justice in settling accounts in politics and competition.

Statement by Andrei Borodin

A local catastrophe in Segezha, Republic of Karelia, was barely avoided in February 2012. Back then, during winter colds, the operation of the Segezha Pulp and Paper Plant was temporarily suspended. Apart from the fact that the plant is the enterprise forming a company town and gives employment to more than 2,000 town residents, the Plant owns a boiler house that provides heating to the town of 30,000. The enterprise and the boiler house did not suspend their operation for a long time only thanks to emergency action undertaken by the Republic’s administration jointly with the top management of the VTB Group (the enterprise’s principal creditor).

True, it is necessary to note that the enterprise had been driven to that critical point by the very same subjects. However, I have already discussed that.

Today, six months later, it is necessary to raise the topic of VTB work with enterprises of the InvestLesProm Holding Company again. I believe that it is important to do so at this particular point in time for a situation similar to the one that almost happened in Segezha not to repeat in the next few months. Continue reading

Statement by Andrei Borodin

The Russian Interior Ministry Investigation Department spokesmen have repeatedly been asserting that I am being charged of causing harm to property of the Bank of Moscow as a result of a transaction of the sale of two shares of Stolichnaya Strakhovaya Gruppa in 2010. The damages have been assessed by the investigators as amounting to 1.7 billion roubles.

On 16 July the Moscow Commercial Court handed down its decision in which it rejected a claim by ZAO Finansovyy Assistent, a Bank of Moscow subsidiary, which had earlier sold those two shares and which sought to reclaim them from alien unlawful possession.

The court found that the claimant had failed to prove that the two shares had been alienated against its will and that the sole executive body had been involved in abuse. In addition, the court did not agree with the claimant’s arguments that the completed transactions were of fictitious nature. Continue reading