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MOSCOW, March 26 (Itar-Tass) – Senator of the Federation Council from the Russian Republic of Buryatia Vitaly Malkin stated that he quits the Federal Council to save the upper house of parliament from critical attacks and will defend his reputation himself. He voiced these reasons for his decision to step down at a meeting of the Federation Council committee for control over authenticity of the income and property declarations of the senators.
“I filed resignation, absolutely not because I find myself guilty of something or violated the regulations or the status of a member of the Federation Council,” he said. “I filed resignation, only because an upsurge of critical attacks against me in the press reached such a high level and they are repeated so frequently that I do not want this dirty campaign, from my point of view, to bad mouth the Federation Council and members of the Federation Council in particular at this very important moment in the life of our country, when state institutes should be protected and the image of the parliament should be cared for,” Malkin explained.
Meanwhile, he stated that he “did not shut the door here (in the Federation Council).” “I just decided to refuse from the status of the senator now in order to protect my fair name,” the senator said.
In the view of Malkin, the campaign against him in the media was waged from abroad, meanwhile, two groups of interests are behind it, particularly representatives of the Hermitage Capital campaign, which he unmasked in the US Congress over the Magnitsky case and his dishonest foreign partners or managers. Meanwhile, William Browder’s accomplices are involved in this criminal case “to a larger extent”, the senator said with confidence.
In the view of Malkin, this is some kind of response “to a greater extent” to his visit as the head of the delegation of the Federation Council in the UN Congress in the previous year, where he discussed the so-called Magnitsky case. “Our committee have collected a large file on this case, we have collected all the data of the agencies. We visited the US Congress to propose in joint efforts of the parliaments and the law enforcement agencies to restore what happened and how this case began and whether it is linked with the tax evasion by the Hermitage Capital investment fund and what role Magnitsky played,” the politician recalled. “They did not support us. Unfortunately, the Magnitsky law was enacted all the same, and after this we believe that the Hermitage Capital investment fund masterminded this campaign and I became this suitable figure (for criticism),” Malkin said.
In his words, people, to whom he “instructed in the capacity of the senator to rule his business and who did it in criminal ways and stole major monetary funds from him” are behind the campaign against him in the media.
“I am ready to assure you that I will file a lawsuit against all those who masterminded this campaign and will deal with them until the full exposure of all details,” Malkin pledged. However, in reply to a specifying question of the journalists against whom his first lawsuit will be targeted, the senator said, “I will not reveal it.”
The senator strongly dismissed all accusations, which were voiced against him in the press. “The main accusation is that I was an Israeli citizen in the capacity of the senator. If it had been true, it would have been impermissible. But I am not an Israeli citizen (at the moment of the current term of powers),” he said. Malkin noted that he refused from the Israeli passport after the appropriate law was enacted in 2006 and banned the lawmakers to have foreign citizenship. “I filed the documents in 2007, where I understood that I will run for a new term as a senator from Buryatia, and as far as I understand, I am not an Israeli citizen since August 2007,” he remarked.
The senator also gave explanations over the episode with his affairs in Canada. “In the nineties, long before the work as a senator in the Federation Council, he applied for a residence permit in Canada, wanted to resettle with the family and run a business. But unfortunately I dealt with our emigrants there that ruined my business, flanged mud at me in the eyes of the state authorities (in Canada),” Malkin explained. In his words, he has been litigating with this North American country on the issue since the 2000s.
Over the flat in New York Malkin explained that the flat belongs to his adult son, who has been running a business for a long time.
As a result the senator filed resignation on his own volition, the supervising committee of the Federation Council chaired by Vice-Speaker of the upper house of parliament Yuri Vorobyev decided on Tuesday no to conduct an inquiry in the facts, which were published in the media over Malkin. He will be officially relieved from a mandate at a plenary meeting of the Federation Council on Wednesday, March 27.
In reply to a journalist’s question whether his statement that he “does not shut the door of the Federation Council behind him” means that he is planning to return in the upper house in the future, Malkin replied, “Probably I leave forever, probably I will come back. I do not have any concrete plans.”
The Moskovsky Komsomolets daily has earlier made a request in the upper house of parliament, asking to check some media reports that the senator allegedly has dual citizenship of Russia and Israel. Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko pledged to conduct “an unbiased detailed investigation” of this information. “If these facts are confirmed, he is to quit the Federation Council and is to be recalled from the post of the senator,” she warned.