Russia Charges Ex-EBRD Director Kotova With Bribe-Seeking

Russian investigators charged Elena Kotova, the country’s former top representative at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, for seeking a bribe of $1.4 million.

Kotova demanded the bribe in return for facilitating a $95 million EBRD loan to a Canadian oil and gas company, the Interior Ministry in Moscow said in a statement on its website today. The decision to charge Kotova is “totally unfounded,” her lawyer, Sergei Mirzoev, said by phone.

The former EBRD official was charged along with a top manager of a major Russian bank, the ministry said, adding that he acted as a go-between in the attempted bribe-seeking.

Russia in February 2011 opened a criminal case against Kotova, who resigned from her post as the Russian representative at the development bank in December 2010. The EBRD, owned by 63 countries and two intergovernmental institutions, was created in 1991 to invest in former communist countries and help them transform their economies.

To contact the reporter on this story: Henry Meyer in Moscow at hmeyer4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net

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