SOCHI, November 17. /TASS/. Detention of ex-minister of economic development Alexey Ulyukayev cannot be associated with a change in the Russian economic policy, presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Thursday.
"Detention of Mr. Ulyukayev can hardly be associated with changes in the economic policy," Peskov said. "Furthermore, matters of national strategic development are in the competence of the head of state in any way," he added.
"Mr. Ulyukayev is charged with bribe taking, in other words, with corruption. Only a court may find him guilty but activities are implemented within the framework of the target policy to combat corruption," Peskov said.
President Putin signed a decree on Tuesday relieving Aleksey Ulyukayev of his duties as Russia’s economic development minister over the loss of confidence. Ulyukayev was detained late on Monday as he received a sum of two million U.S. dollars as a bribe in exchange for the economic ministry’s positive appraisal that allowed the oil major Rosneft to buy out from the state a 50.08% stake in the oil company Bashneft.
According to the spokesman, the president has not yet made decision on the new Minister of Economic Development.
"[The Kremlin] has not determined that," presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov told journalists.
Kremlin’s representative denied reports in certain mass media that the presidential decree on resignation of Ulyukayev was allegedly made with violations - without a proposal by the prime minister to dismiss his subordinate.
"No, no violations at all, the head of state appoints and dismisses [ministers] under law, and so it was done," Peskov said.