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MOSCOW, September 5. /TASS/. Former Russian Economic Development Minister Alexey Ulyukayev demanded a $2 mln bribe from Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin for his approval of the deal with Bashneft, according to the files, which the Zamoskvoretsky court in Moscow made public on Tuesday.
The court refers to the letter by FSB General and Rosneft’s former vice-president of security Oleg Feoktistov penned at Sechin’s request to the head of Russia’s Investigative Committee Alexander Bortnikov.
"Ulyukaev turned to Sechin with a request for a $2 mln payment for the promise of patronage and consent for the transaction with Bashneft," according to the court’s files.
According to the documents, Feoktistov personally wrote the statement addressed to Bortnikov, and Sechin put a second signature on it.
On announcing Feoktistov's statement, the prosecutor read out documents on the details of "the cultivation" of the former Ecomonic Development Minister which included surveillance, preparing the bribe, marking the banknotes and organizing the delivery of the bribe to Ulyukaev.
Sechin apologized for the "delay in executing the demand" when passing money to Ulyukayev, according to the court files.
At the court meeting the prosecutor publicized an audio recording where Sechin jokingly apologized for the delay in executing the demand, a TASS correspondent reported from the courtroom.
"Sorry for delaying the execution of your assignment. I was on a business trip, but you can be sure that the whole sum is there. Here is a key. Let's go," says the man on the recording who was identified by the investigation as Sechin.
On the recording Sechin can be heard instructing someone to bring a "basket" to a separate room. After that Sechin and Ulyukaev continue their conversation addressing each other by their names and discussing the oil company’s projects. On that recording Sechin can also be heard complaining to Ulyukayev about Rosneft’s high tax burden, which reaches 80% while globally it is approximately 40%. During that conversation Sechin and Ulyukayev spoke to each other as friends. Ulyukaev promised Sechin to support his projects and agreed that the tax burden of Rosneft was too high. "This is a short-sighted policy," Ulyukaev admitted.
When Ulyukaev arrived at Rosneft, Sechin met him near the office on the street and advised him to dress warmer. He also wished Ulyukayev ‘good luck’ when they parted.
The former minister is facing charges of large-scale bribe-taking by a government official (Part 6, Section 290 of the Russian Criminal Code).
Ulyukayev, the then federal minister, was detained on November 14, 2016. That was the first detention of a senior government official in Russia’s modern history.
According to the Russian Investigative Committee, Ulyukayev was taken into custody while attempting to pocket a $2 mln bribe in exchange for the ministry’s positive evaluation of Rosneft’s purchase of the 50.08-percent stake in Bashneft. Moreover, according to investigators, the former minister is being charged with extorting a bribe by threatening Rosneft's representatives.
On November 15, 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin relieved Ulyukayev of his duties due to a loss of trust. The former minister is under house arrest. On August 8, the court extended his house arrest until January 27, 2018