MOSCOW, October 2 (RAPSI) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he would not interfere in an investigation into the privatisation of Bashneft oil company over which Vladimir Yevtushenkov, one of Russia’s richest persons, had been placed under house arrest, RIA Novosti reports on Thursday.
"I am not going to interfere [in the investigation] and issue any instructions regarding it," Putin said at the Russia Calling investment forum.
Bashneft was controlled by Russia’s Bashkortostan region until 2003, when a major stake was sold to entities linked with Ural Rakhimov, son of former Bashkortostan President Murtaza Rakhimov.
In 2009, Yevtushenkov's AFK Sistema gained control over the company.
Investigators in April opened a criminal case over the deals with Bashneft shares in 2002 to 2009.
Both Rakhimov and Yevtushenkov are implicated in the case. Yevtushenkov, the board chairman and largest beneficiary of AFK Sistema, was charged with money laundering.
The Moscow Commercial Court granted last week a motion filed by the Prosecutor General’s Office to seize Sistema's stake in Bashneft.
Sistema directly owns almost 72% of Bashneft’s voting shares and an overall stake of 86.7%, including 12.6% which is owned by Sistema-Invest.
As of 3:20 pm when Putin made this statement, Bashneft stock value increased by 0.4%. The growth of Sistema’s stock value on the Moscow Exchange has slowed from 3% to 0.7%.