пятница, 18 марта 2011 г.

Sold to Russia

http://rumafia.com/news.php?id=217

According to the Ministry of Regional Development, building on the Presnya Street 3 with area of 17 612.8 square meters was bought for 3.5 billion rubles in 2009 from LLC "Innovative Technology"Renova” ("Vedomosti” possesses documentation). There were two state contracts concluded: from December 10, 2008 and June 10, 2009.

 

This building was constructed in 1982; it housed a trade mission in Hungary. The Government decided to sell some overseas properties, as attaché of the Embassy of Hungary, Laszlo Owari explained to the press. CJSC "Management Council of Hungarian National Assets" sold the building in March 2008 for $ 21.3 million; it was bought by Diamond Air. According to the Luxembourg Chamber of Registration, Diamond Air was formed on May 30, 2005 and liquidated on Oct. 27, 2009

According to AP, on February 9, Hungarian authorities detained a former Hungarian Ambassador to Moscow, Arpad Szoke, former Secretary of Foreign Ministry of Hungary, Feksi Khorvat and the former Secretary of State Property Management, Miklosh Tartay on suspicion of fraud with real estate in Moscow.

"Innovative technologies Renova was registered in October 2005 and liquidated in May 2010, according to the register; it operated under an agency agreement from the company Diamond Air, as it is stated in the documentation. According to SPARK, address of "Innovative Technologies "Renova " coincides with the address of JCS “Renova Group of Companies”: Balaklavsky Avenue, 28B.

Viktor Vekselberg, who now heads the Development Fund for Innovation Centre “Skolkovo”, acted as mediator between Hungary and the Russian government, according to the four persons close to the deal. Sekey from the Hungarian Nepszabadsag said the same.

Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov signed the order of the government to purchase the building in Hungary on November 19, 2007, after the meeting, that was attended by five other officials - Dmitry Kozak (Deputy Prime Minister, then - Minister of Regional Development), acting Head of Federal Property Management Agency Yuri Medvedev, three senior officials of the device and Vekselberg, according to the minutes of the meeting (a copy is in "Vedomosti"). Kozak asked for additional space for the ministry, and Zhukov instructed Rosimushchestvo to take the necessary steps to acquire ownership of the building on the Krasnaya Presnya. Renova is called the buyer of the building without the involvement of the federal budget in the minutes.

Here, the government issued a decree on the acquisition of the building by Ministry of Regional Development; in October 2008, 3 billion rubles were amended to the budget law to allocate Ministry of Regional Development on Krasnaya Presnya. The money was supposed to come from the funds earmarked for the construction of social facilities and industrial complexes. Another 560 million rubles were found in the federal investment program for 2008. Purchase of the building was at the expense of the budget and in consultation with the Federal Property Agency, representative of Ministry of Regional Development told "Vedomosti". " Rosimuschestvo did not take part in preparing and signing the contract", representative of Rosimushchestvo, Arina Lazareva said.

It turns out that in March 2008, the Hungarian party sold the building to Diamond Air for $ 21.3 million (about 511 million rubles according to the exchange rate at the beginning of the month), and in 2009 the Ministry of Regional Development acquired it from the "Innovative Technology" Renova " 7 times more expensive - for 3.5 billion rubles.

The representative of the group "Renova" Andrey Shtorkh declined to comment.

A person close to the deal said that Vekselberg mediated at the request of officials of the Russian government: He signed a contract with the Hungarian party in December 2005 and in 2006 the requested amount was completely transferred to it – that sum was a little bigger than figures stated in the Hungarian press. Employees of the Hungarian Trade Mission emptied the premises in April 2009, he continues, it took three years to "Renova" to settle administrative and land use issues - Vekselberg designed the ownership of land under the trade mission, because the Hungarians had not settled ownership rights for the land.

Leadership of Ministry of Regional Development (Kozak, and then Victor Basargin) were confident that the Ministry staff was going to move to Krasnaya Presnya as soon as the Hungarians move away, an official of the Russian government said, but it turned out that the building was disrepaired and required a lot to spend on repairs. In September 2010, Kozak instructed ("Vedomosti" possesses this data) Basargin to terminate the contract concluded with apparent violations of the law. In October, the head of Rosimushchestvo, Yuri Petrov wrote Kozak (document is in "Vedomosti") that there is no evidence and documents proving non-compliance of contract or law by the parties that could serve as a basis for termination of the contract. Especially if the contract had been terminated, the Ministry of Regional Development has nowhere to move, Petrov says. Representatives of Kozak and Regional Development Ministry declined to comment.

It does not matter whether Vekselberg received money from transactions with a trade mission of Hungary, the participation in them might cause serious problems to him, as the founder of project Rospil.info, Alex Navalny said: Vekselberg is a tax resident of Switzerland, he has assets in the U.S., and therefore he can be prosecuted on corruption according to foreign laws. Navalny promises to send requests to the U.S. about possible violations by the entrepreneur and his company, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and if suspicions are confirmed, it is still unclear how Vekselberg can attract investors in Skolkovo.

Vedomosti, 21.02.2011, Photo: AFP

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