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Russian Minister Held in Biggest Putin-Era Corruption Case

  • Ulyukayev charged with taking Rosneft bribe for Bashneft deal
  • Liberal minister denies wrongdoing, sees ‘setup,’ lawyer says
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Russian Minister Detained for Alleged Rosneft Bribe

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Russia detained Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev on charges of taking a $2 million bribe to approve a major privatization sale, setting off shockwaves as the highest-level official to face such treatment in President Vladimir Putin’s 16-year rule.

Ulyukayev, 60, was taken into custody on Monday “in the act” of receiving the cash, said Russia’s Investigative Committee. He was later charged with demanding the money from Rosneft PJSC to allow its purchase last month of the government’s 50 percent stake in regional oil producer Bashneft PJSC, the agency said in a statement. Ulyukayev’s lawyer, Timofei Gridnev, said his client denied any wrongdoing.