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MOSCOW, August 23 (Itar-Tass) - The campaign headquarters of Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny, who is planning to run for the office of Moscow mayor in September, on Friday officially denied that Navalny had registered a firm in Montenegro.
“Alexei Navalny has never personally registered an MRD Company in Montenegro,” representatives of Navalny’s campaign office said in a press release on Friday.
Maria Gaidar, a daughter of Russian radical reformer Yegor Gaidar who died in 2009 aged 53, also confirmed that Navalny had never registered a company in Montenegro. The press release suggested that the registration had taken place at a time when Alexei Navalny and Maria Gaidar were just considering the acquisition of property in Montenegro.
“However, they later gave up the idea but the lawyers had already started the registration process but failed to finish it using the copies of Navalny’s and Gaidar’s passports,” Navalny’s representatives went on to say.
“To reconstruct the events, we have sent official inquiries to the Montenegrin tax authorities asking them to raise the registration file and establish what documents served as ground for registering the company and who signed them. Our lawyers have also left for Montenegro,” the press release said.
Navalny’s campaign office promised to publish all the documents as soon as they received them from the Montenegrin tax authorities.
Leonid Volkov, the head of Navalny’s campaign headquarters, denied that Navalny had a firm in Montenegro as soon as the information had appeared in the media. He said that computer crackers must have broken into the tax administration of Montenegro website to post provocative information on it. He added that Navalny’s opponents had used that fact to their own advantage. Volkov explained that Navalny had considered to buy a company in Montenegro in the autumn of 2007 together with Maria Gaidar but later gave up the idea.
However, the tax administration of Montenegro has denied both the crackers’ version and the assumption that the MRD Company could have been registered without Navalny’s knowledge. “The registration was carried out by the Commercial Court in Podgorica, a body that was performing those functions at that time rather than by computer crackers who had broken into the register of legal entities as it is reported by some media outlets,” Milica Vuletic, a representative of the tax administration of Montenegro, told Itar-Tass by telephone on Friday.
She said that the MRD Company was registered on November 20, 2007. Vuletic added that she had the notarized registration documents signed by the three co-founders: Alexei Navalny, Maria Gaidar and Mikhail Yeshkin, the MRD Company’s chief executive officer.