MOSCOW, May 6. /TASS/. The Kremlin can’t comment on reports of Ukrainian leader Petro Poroshenko’s intention to sell his business in Russia, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday.
"The Russian president’s administration does not oversee the issues of business, either domestic or foreign," the Kremlin spokesman said in reply to a question about the Kremlin’s attitude to such reports.
Forbes-Ukraine magazine ranked Poroshenko as Ukraine’s 8th richest person in March with a fortune of $750 million.
Poroshenko’s core assets include the Roshen Confectionary Corporation, which has a plant in the Lipetsk Region in central Russia.
The Basmanny Court of Moscow ruled on April 16 to arrest the property of the Lipetsk confectionary as part of a criminal probe into the illegal 180 million-ruble ($3.5 million) value added tax refund.
The criminal case was opened on the basis of materials provided by Russia’s Federal Security Service.Roshen filed a protest to the Moscow City Court on April 29 over the judgment by the Basmanny Court to seize the assets of its Lipetsk confectionary in central Russia in the embezzlement probe.
According to investigators, representatives of the Lipetsk confectionary and the research and production firm Metallimpress in Nizhny Novgorod sent forged documents to the Lipetsk regional tax inspectorate in 2012-2013 on the works allegedly fulfilled in 2012 and worth over 1 billion rubles ($20 million at the current exchange rate) for the construction of a confectionery and applied for a VAT refund of over 180 million rubles.
Investigators say the cost of works performed by sub-contractors hired by Metallimpress was clearly overstated and some organizations carried no financial or economic activities.
The forged documents later served as the ground for transferring over 180 million rubles to the Roshen Lipetsk confectionery’s settlement account in an illegal VAT refund from the Russian budget, Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin earlier said.
Ukraine’s President Poroshenko pledged to sell his business assets after he was elected as the head of state in May last year.