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Kremlin says ex-economy minister can be called corrupt official only after court decision

November 25, 2016, 13:14 UTC+3

More than half of Russians (54%) consider that the arrest of former Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev earlier this month is a mere show for public display, a poll states

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Alexey Ulyukayev

Alexey Ulyukayev

© Artyom Geodakyan/TASS

MOSCOW, November 25. /TASS/. Russia’s former Minister of Economic Development Alexey Ulyukayev cannot be considered to be a corrupt official until the court decision, press secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov said on Friday commenting on results of a recent poll.

More than half of Russians (54%) consider that the arrest of former Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev earlier this month is a mere show for public display rather than a genuine crusade to clean up corruption, the poll conducted by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center indicated.

"As far as Ulyukayev is concerned, Ulyukayev case cannot be regarded as a corruption one until the court decision. I want to reiterate not a single individual, particularly ex-minister Ulyukayev in this case, can be referred to as the corrupt official. Only a court can do so," Peskov said.

"The struggle against corruption is regular, purposeful, proactive and at the most different levels," he added.

Ulyukayev was detained on November 14, while receiving a $2 mln bribe in exchange for the Economic Development Ministry’s consent to give the go-ahead to the oil major Rosneft’s acquisition of a 50.08% stake in another oil company, Bashneft, and was put under house arrest. On November 15, President Vladimir Putin dismissed Ulyukayev from his high-ranking post citing loss of trust.

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