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MOSCOW, October 16. /TASS/. Head of the Kremlin administration Sergey Ivanov is confident that the case of Vladimir Yevtushenkov (the owner of the holding company Sistema) and the Bashneft company would not lead to exodus of Russian business people abroad.
“I am confident that the majority of our business people are patriots and ultimately they have built all their plans on investments into Russia,” Ivanov said in an interview with the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily on Thursday.
Ivanov believes that a small part of liberals shares the thesis “It is time to shove off” and it remains only a slogan.
“If we look into who really have shoved off, they will turn out to be, as a rule, fraudsters caught red handed in Russia for shady deals,” he said. “Trying to avoid ending up behind the bars, they shove off to the West and at once start yelling they are ‘victims of the bloody regime’.”
The Kremlin administration head disagrees with an opinion that Damocles’ sword hangs over each businessman in Russia.
“Nothing hangs over anyone,” he said. “In recent days, the president (Vladimir Putin) replied openly to this question at the Russia Calling forum in Moscow. He said unequivocally that no mass copies are expected.”
Yevtushenkov was not placed in a prison cell and is now in rather comfortable conditions, Ivanov said.
“Although it is rather unpleasant,” he said adding that “it yields a negative impact on investment climate and a quick solution should be found in this case.”
Ivanov is hopeful that the court’s decision on the case of Bashneft company and Vladimir Yevtushenkov will not cause any harm to Sistema’s operation.
Ivanov said in an interview that he is not an expert in the oil sector but was well acquainted with Yevtushenkov who was in charge of hi-tech sectors while Ivanov worked on GLONASS - a space-based navigation system - and in the defence industry.
“Sistema and its affiliates under Yevtushenkov’s leadership has done much useful for Russia’s economy and I am hopeful the court will handle successfully the Bashneft case so that it will not affect the company’s activity,” he said.
Ivanov is confident Khodorkovsky’s case and Yevtushenkov’s case have nothing in common.
Sistema owner Vladimir Yevtushenkov was placed under house arrest in early September on charges of legalizing ill-gotten funds received from privatization of the Bashkortostan energy companies.
Bashneft, a mid-sized oil company based in the Urals Republic of Bashkortostan, currently integrates the republic’s former energy companies which, as investigators say, were privatized with serious violations of law.
State packages of the shares of energy companies in Bashkortostan were privatized in the early 1990s through their transfer to the charter capital of Bashneftekhim and the Bashkortostan Fuel Company. In 2003, the joint stock companies sold the shares at market prices to commercial organizations. The shares were subsequently donated to the charitable foundation Ural and transferred to the holding company Sistema through Ural-Invest under a purchase/sale agreement.
The charitable foundation Ural is run by ex-Bashkortostan head Murtaza Rakhimov whose son Ural Rakhimov is a suspect in the Bashneft theft criminal probe.