MOSCOW, April 25 (RAPSI) - The CIA officers operated as consultants to Anatoly Chubais, the Russian deputy prime minister who oversaw the privatization of the country’s economy in the early 1990's, President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday. Those officers have been identified as Andrei Shleifer and Jonathan Hay, privatization consultants for the Russian government at the time, an anonymous source who also worked with Chubais revealed to RIA Novosti.

During his live question and answer session, Putin said that in the 1990s, CIA officers advised Chubais on privatization matters, and that they were later held liable by a US court for making illegal personal investments in Russia.

"The people in question are most likely Andrei Shleifer and Jonathan Hay who indeed worked with Anatoly Chubais at the time," a source told RIA.

In the mid-2000s, after a three-year investigation, Shleifer and Hay, referred to as an Economics professor and a Harvard-trained lawyer, respectively, in the case, were tried in Boston for abuse of authority and unjust enrichment.

According to the American media, in the 1990s Shleifer and Hay worked in Moscow under a contract with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and advised the Russian government on its transition from the Soviet economy to capitalism. The US Department of Justice ruled that the damage caused to the US by Shleifer and Hay amounted to $34 million.

Chubais, the current chief of Rusnano, has served in several key capacities including head of the State Property Management Committee, finance minister, deputy prime minister, first deputy prime minister and chief of Kremlin staff. He was one of the leaders behind the 1990s economic reforms in Russia.