Russian ex minister on trial lays the blame on Putin ally

By on August 16, 2017

Flag of Russia (Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain)
Flag of Russia (Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain)

MOSCOW — A Russian ex-economic development minister on trial for allegedly accepting a $2 million cash bribe has accused the head of Russia’s largest oil company of setting him up.

Alexei Ulyukayev was detained last year after a sting operation set up by the FSB intelligence agency.

Ulyukayev was largely seen as a victim of a Kremlin power play by Igor Sechin, chief executive of state oil company Rosneft and President Vladimir Putin’s close ally.

Ulyukayev testified in court Wednesday that he was set up by Sechin, saying the CEO had invited him to his office and handed him the briefcase with cash. Sechin hasn’t commented on the accusations.

Ulyukayev, the highest-ranking Russian official to have been arrested since 1993, has been under house arrest since November.