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As the Interior Ministry announces theft of 6.5 billion roubles allocated to the Russian Space Systems (RSS) for development of the GLONASS navigation system, the company’s General Designer Yuri Urlichich was dismissed. And on Sunday, head of the presidential administration Sergei Ivanov said he had been aware of the improper use of money allocated for GLONASS.
Sergei Ivanov said he had received first signals about theft of the budget money for development of GLONASS back in 2010, while he was a deputy prime minister supervising the defence complex, the Kommersant reports. He told the newspaper that in early 2010 Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliev told him he has “not only a feeling, but first proofs” of stealing the budget money for GLONASS. “After that, I had a meeting behind closed doors with investigators, with the task force police and with the interior ministry’s specialists working on the case,” Ivanov said adding he received papers and proofs of how the money was escaping. “As you see the people who you, and the government, too, trust and had allocated the huge money, and they, putting it politely, use it improperly – how would you treat such people? Well, I tolerated. I would not show, as I realised if I demonstrate anything, they would become alerted and would attempt a cleanup,” the Kremlin’s official said.
Experts say, there had been some third force fighting for the GLONASS money (the general budget makes 326 billion roubles), which wanted to extract GLONASS from supervision of Roskosmos and its subsidiary RSS, the Moskovsky Komsomolets writes. Recently the Izvestia has reported preparations for establishment of an inter-authority structure to manage issues of GLONASS development. In fact, there are good reasons for this: the system ceases to be an area for mere designers of satellites – it is down on the ground now and requires an infrastructure to implement public navigation services.