“In Russia Criminal Justice Often Comes In To Help Sort Out Relations”

Kommersant FM

Former General Prosecutor Yuri Skuratov Answers Questions of Kommersant FM’s Andrei Norkin
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“We know perfectly well that the top managers of our law-enforcement agencies and the special services have very close and informal relations with VTB. Therefore, apparently they turned to them with a request to help in the return of the loan, and thus the wheels of criminal prosecution began to turn. In Russia, it is a widely spread pattern, you know that, I believe, from more than one case, when criminal justice comes in to help sort out relations. Apparently that is why the investment climate in our country is such that no one wants to invest.” Continue reading

Searches at RusTeleCom Head’s Place Must be Accompanied by Searches at VTB, Navalny Says

NEWSru.com

Searches at one of the shareholders of RusTeleCom, a government-owned company, are not directed against the enterprise per se but concern “individuals” suspected of stealing $225 million from VTB, a government-owned bank, the website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs says. Oppositionist Alexei Navalny has suggested that the investigators together with the RusTeleCom president conduct searches at VTB, which has lost money after issuing a loan to an unreliable organisation. Continue reading

VTB Weight around the Neck of the Bank of Moscow

EJ.ru

Bankovskoye Obozreniye, a banking review journal, published an anti-rating of banks with a maximum share of arrears in the overall volume of issued loans in mid-November. The rating treats separately the arrears on loans issued to individuals, companies and the share of arrears in the banks’ total loans.

The survey compares bank data as of 1 September 2012 with similar 2011 figures. Thus it is possible to compare the condition of the Bank of Moscow before its financial recovery was begun by VTB with government money and the comparison shows clearly the result of this operation, which cost taxpayers almost 300 billion roubles. Continue reading

The ‘Magnitsky List’ could be the only way of fighting for Russian citizens

DailyMail Online

In recent years events connected with Russia and Russian citizens have become a regular feature in the British media. Unfortunately, the frequent appearance of such headlines is not a result of strengthening of friendship and collaboration between the two states. Often these reports accompany scandalous trials in British courts, violation of human rights in the Russian Federation, and so on. For instance, today the Magnitsky Legacy round table sessions are taking place in the Parliament building in London. All this attests to the fact that the Russian justice and law-enforcement systems are in a deep crisis and leave no hope for fair decisions based on compliance with legal provisions or, at least, human rights. Continue reading

Regime Intimidates Oppositionist Businessmen

RBC

In the opinion of political scientists interviewed by RBC, the regime has deprived the Russian opposition of the opportunity to obtain funding domestically. As is known, funding of political activity from foreign sources is a crime in Russia. Garry Kasparov, a member of the oppositionist forces’ Coordination Council, announced a few days ago that fundraising for protest activity is a priority for the opposition. Continue reading

“The Bank of Moscow has Become an Appendage of an Inefficient Government Bank VTB”

Banki.ru

The story of the persecution of the former head and co-owner of the Bank of Moscow, Andrey BORODIN, who left Russia a year and a half ago, was continued over the past weeks. Borodin has told Banki.ru analyst in a telephone interview about the reasons for which the banker turns to Russian law-enforcement agencies himself, what organisations he is funding and why he kept quiet about corruption in the past.

Q.: Russian law-enforcement agencies have lately spoken about the opening of criminal cases against you in various countries, such as Estonia, the Bahamas, Belgium and Luxemburg. What do you know about those cases? Have investigators from those countries contacted you?
A.: The information about a case against me in Estonia, spread by Russian law-enforcement agencies, was refuted the same day by the local authorities. As for the other cases, both my lawyers and I have no official information. And I would call your attention to the fact that all reports about actions in foreign jurisdictions come from Russian power structures, not from agencies of those countries. This, I believe, means that the information is unreliable. Continue reading

Russia Returns to Stricter Control

Stratfor

November 5, STRATFOR


NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA / AFP / GettyImages

The Kremlin has reverted to its strict policies of 2003-2007, cracking down on its opponents to get the population back under control after a tumultuous year. As part of this campaign, the last of the Western-backed Cold War radio programs, Radio Svoboda (Liberty), will shut down Nov. 10 when a new law forbidding foreign control of broadcasting licenses goes into effect. This is just one in a series of laws recently passed by the Kremlin that puts restrictions on the Internet, labels nongovernmental agencies as “foreign agents,” and cracks down on the opposition. Continue reading