Questions of PRAVDA.Ru correspondent are being answered by State Duma deputy Yury Nikiforenko, one of initiators of deputy inquiry about check-up of illegal commercial activities of the President Administration’s leader Alexandr Voloshin
Q. Yury, in civilized countries, there is a serious parliament control. A parliament inquiry is enough to cross any politician’s career. I am aware of the inquiry about illegal commercial activities of the President Administration’s head, Alexandr Voloshin. And what are the results? What was reaction of the Kremlin and of the Public Prosecutor General’s Office? A. You reminded of some countries, where as a result of parliament’s investigation, a functionary’s career could be finished. Though to finish his career, one must have really serious facts and conclusive proofs of his guilt. In 2001, a group of deputies for a long time studied materials of Alexandr Voloshin’s activities before his coming in the Kremlin. We found out serious things that demanded a legal estimation. First of all the question that has not been answered yet: Voloshin’s participation in Federal Stock House was found out and his lobbying interests of well known oligarchs Boris Berezovski and Roman Abramovich. This serious episode was missed by the investigation. The question is that the competition commissions promoted by Voloshin assisted these two oligarchs in receiving of 85 percent of Sibneft company’s stocks. Therefore, the country’s budged lost great sums because of Voloshin.
Q. How did it happen? A. Voloshin had to do with the Federal Stock Corporation and assisted it, it is clear now. Second, he participated in activity of the well known Chara bank: this finance campaign resulted in the great number of deceived depositors, while people guilty of it were not punished. Do you remember, there was time, when people were being convinced to make deposits at madly high interest. There were many stock firms like Chara, as a result, 40 million of depositors were deceived. The state did not take responsibility for it, however it had participated in these firms’ creation. Mass media had actively advertised them. Remember, we could see a commercial every evening: “we are sitting, while money is flowing.” At this time, money really was flowing – abroad. Valentina Solovyova, the owner of another well known private company Vlastelina, has already returned from prison, though she has not returned money to her depositors. To be short, this part of Voloshin’s commercial activities turned out to be beyond the sight of the Public Prosecutor General’s Office. If Voloshin had not occupied such a high post in the country, he would have been called to account. Voloshin belongs to the so-called Yeltsin’s “family”, as for his style he is similar to “grey cardinal” who is making intrigues. I have been working in the Duma for the second term, and I feel the President Administration’s influence during the voting, lobbying of some laws. Here, there are his representatives, for example, Surkov, who goes through factions and gives advise about what button must be pressed. If a deputy pressed a “wrong” button and showed his independence, he could be fired, according to barracks rules. There was a situation, when one of Duma committees’ chairmen did not obey the demand to “drawn” Nikolai Troshkin, the leader of the Duma staff. That are just touches, in general we can see the situation in the parliament, when many deputies have simply lost their independence. They have united into factions and groups to salute to the Kremlin. The parliament to be controlled by the President, but – what is the main thing – by the shady cabinet of the President Administration which plays the part of shady government and of personnel department. I would stress one more thing. Once, Voloshin celebrated his birthday. A newspaper published dozens of telephone conversations: who phoned him and what presents were made to him. In any other state, such functionary would simply dismissed next day, because he was receiving every sum without feeling embarrassed. Today, the Kremlin is surrounded with people like Voloshin, who play a negative role and damage the President’s image. This is why, Vladimir Putin should part with such people, while organizing public prosecutor’s check-ups. In general, his contacts with the “family,” his visits on Yeltsin’s dacha and “passing tests” before the former president look like secret non-constitutional obligations, as if the President tries to learn something from this private person. But what one could learn from Yeltsin? Probably, how to ruin the country? People are indignant at it.
Q. In other words, you want to say that Voloshin is current of Putins’ visits on Yeltsin’s dacha? A. He is directly implicated in preparing documents, programmes etc. Voloshin’s part is very shady, and now we, 92 deputies, sent a deputy inquiry to Russian Public Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov, asking him to check up facts presented in publications of newspapers Tribuna, Rossiyskie Vesti, Versia, Moskovskaya Pravda and others. Dozens of publications are enclosed, where journalists try to independently investigate Voloshin’s previous activities, while many facts have been found out and they should be legally estimated. In April, we addressed to the Public Prosecutor General’s Office and received a formal answer that Voloshin seemed not to be implicated in these firms’ activities. Interesting, is not it? He has been working there for all the time, was current of these firms’ activities, left his tracks, though he is not implicated in their activities. We were not satisfied with this answer and raised a question about the parliament inquiry. 171 deputies supported it, though it was not enough. We made the deputy inquiry, signed by 92 deputies from different factions and sent this paper to the Public Prosecutor General’s Office on December 26. A month has passed since that time, so we hope we will receive any explanation these days. If this to be again a formal answer, we will think over our further activities to show with the press’ assistance the real face of Alexandr Voloshin who stays too long in the Kremlin.
Q. In your view, why did you received such a formal answer to your first inquiry? Probably Ustinov belongs to the “family”, too? A. I would prefer not to think badly about the Public Prosecutor General. We want to loosen hands of the Public Prosecutor General’s Office, because we feel that it is influenced by some functionaries, while we would like the Prosecutor and his local services to be independent. Q. How do you want to do it? A. With help of journalists. Because I am also a journalist.
Yuri Nikiforneko was interviewed by Ilya Tarasov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Vera Solovieva