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Putin says it is up to investigators to comment on ex-economic minister’s case

November 21, 2016, 2:41 UTC+3 LIMA

Russian President also said Alexei Ulyukayev's arrest had not exerted impact on his general assessment of the government's performance

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© Mikhail Klimentyev/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS

LIMA, November 21. /TASS/.  Russian President Vladimir Putin believes it is the investigators and the court that should make eventual comments on the case of the former Economic Development Minister, Alexei Ulyukayev who was arrested earlier this month on charges of accepting a bribe.

"What’s there to comment on?" Putin told reporters after the end of the APEC summit in Peru. "In the final run, it’s the law enforcement and judiciary agencies that should make comments on it. Only after it we will be able to say something in essence.

"The fact a situation like this has taken place is really disappointing but the only thing I’d like to say is we’ll continue doing this work and won’t tolerate any such showings (bribery - TASS)," Putin said.

He voiced the confidence that "such actions on the part of law enforcement agencies not only don’t do any damage to business climate but, on the contrary, they make the business climate in Russia better."

"It’s important for everyone to know the law will be applied to everyone in an equal measure regardless of an individual’s official position," Putin said.

Rosneft, Bashneft and ex-minister's arrest 

Arrest of the former Russian Minister of Economic Development, Alexei Ulyukayev, will not wield any impact on the acquition of the oil company Bashneft by the Russian oil industry major, Rosneft, Putin reassured:

"This saddening event (the minister's arrest) can't affect the acquisition of Bashneft stake by Rosneft in any away."

"More than that, we hope the transaction will produce a considerable synergic effect," he added. "Because when we expressed doubts over the rationality of a purchase of Bashneft by Rosneft we said government had a controlling stake in the latter company, but still Rosneft is not a state corporation because a considerable package in it belongs to a foreign investor, BP."

As for the privatization of Rosneft as such, it will be the privatization of state property.

"In this sense, we don’t renounce any of our initial plans as regards privatization and the government as well as Rosneft executives will work on implementing the second stage of the plan, that it, the sale of the company," Putin said.

On the situation around for economic development minister’s arrest, he said it had not exerted impact on his general assessment of the government's performance. "The government's work is normal," he said.

Putin also said he would resolve the problem of a candidate for the post of economic development minister after return from Peru.

"I'll come back and we'll clear the situation away and will put period to the problem," he said.

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