Defense Ministry seeks to annul 'fraudulent' property deals
MOSCOW, December 6 – RAPSI. Newly appointed Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu is looking for ways to reclaim Defense Ministry properties that were sold off under allegedly fraudulent terms during his predecessor's tenure, RIA Novosti reported on Thursday.
"The minister [Shoigu] has given instructions concerning several properties. We are studying the possibility of filing lawsuits to annul the contracts and invalidate the deals,” the head of the ministry’s property department Dmitry Kurakin said.
Kurakin acknowledged that the Defense Ministry could find it difficult to recover the property if the courts find that the deals were conducted legally.
The lawsuits are expected to focus primarily on the transactions that could potentially impact the Armed Forces' combat readiness, particularly the sale of an oil shipment base in Murmansk, defense analysts said.
The oil shipment base, which supplied fuel to ships of Russia's Northern Fleet, was sold off by the Oboronservis, a holding company under the ministry’s control, at a price far below market value.
The sum of 6.7 billion rubles ($217.3 million) suspected to have been stolen via a corruption scheme that cost Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov his job.