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MOSCOW, October 27 (Itar-Tass) ---Chief of the Russian presidential administration Sergei Naryshkin gave comments to the reporters on Wednesday on the reasons for the dismissal of Yuri Luzhkov from the post of the Moscow mayor a year ago. Naryshkin affirmed that the dismissal took place not only over an inefficient city management, but also over an exorbitant corruption level in the capital. Before only the political opposition took a liberty to make such accusations against the former mayor and his team, the media reported.
Naryshkin’s statement did not become any surprise either for experts or ordinary citizens. Many were saying that the city dragged in corruption was going out of control, the Novye Izvestia writes. The fact that a high-ranking official voiced this position is linked with forthcoming elections in the State Duma, director general of the Center of Political Information Alexei Mukhin said. “The corruption problem is one of the driving force of the election campaign, in which Sergei Naryshkin is involved directly as a candidate from United Russia, therefore, he made a so resounding statement,” the newspaper quoted the political scientist as saying.
Director of the International Institute of Political Expertise Yevgeny Minchenko cited by the newspaper believes that the Wednesday statement is also explained by Yuri Luzhkov’s higher political activities. Luzhkov began to criticize the ruling party and Dmitry Medvedev personally in his recent statements. The presidential administration dealt some kind of retaliatory blow, putting it clear that if the former mayor does not calm down, the pressure of the law enforcement agencies on him and his family will be growing. It is not accidental that Naryshkin’s statement almost coincided with the summoning of the former mayor as a witness in the Bank of Moscow case and the presidential decree to punish those guilty in the case of misappropriating the land intended for the construction of 12 diplomatic offices.
The Rossiiskaya Gazeta recalled that currently the law enforcement agencies are investigating the trends in the work of the former mayor and his associates. This week Yuri Luzhkov was summoned by the police investigation department to testify as a witness in the asset misappropriation case in the Bank of Moscow. The police noted that the bank transferred some part of these assets to issue a credit of 12.76 billion roubles to the Premier Estate Company, which produced the false information about the subject and the quality of the collateral for loan. In late March 2011 the court ruled to bring Bank of Moscow President Andrei Borodin and Vice-President Dmitry Akulinin to justice as defendants. They were charged in absentia with office abuse and fraud.
The Nezavisimaya Gazeta quoted Luzhkov as saying in reply to Naryshkin’s statement, “”I remain loyal to Russia and continue to live and work in Moscow… I am ready to answer any questions, which will be put to me, though I stated repeatedly my public position on the issue.” The former mayor noted again that he “has nothing to conceal.” (He flied away, but promised to come back – as a funny fairytale character Carlson used to say).
Luzhkov’s wife and the former Inteco chief Yelena Baturina responded to Naryshkin’s accusations for “an exorbitant corruption level,” the RBC daily reported. “He should prove it or resign or make apologies,” she stated. She does not expect anything like that “from Naryshkin or someone else from them” and called the statement as a PR action. Therefore, she hopes to meet with the chief of the Kremlin administration in court, “Unfortunately there are few mechanisms to say the truth and the lawsuit is one of these mechanisms.