12.01.2011 – Novaya gazeta.
Billion on Putin’s palace. Secrets of the project
Wednesday, 12 January 2011
The Russian businessman in the post card to the president asserts that huge money instead of national projects and support of hi-tech manufactures has gone on building of residence of the prime minister.
Before New year on a site the post card to president Dmitry Medvedev of the Petersburgbusinessman Sergey Kolesnikovcorruptionfreerussia.com has been published. In the letter Kolesnikov has accused Vladimir Putin of corruption, and also has informed on ostensibly under construction “rest house” for the prime minister in cost more $1 mlrd which erection Kolesnikov concerned.
Sergey Kolesnikov was more than the successful businessman belonging to a selected pool of businessmen – «Putin’s friends». Its old business partners were Nikolay Shamalov and Dmitry Gorelov. SHаmаlov together with Putin there was once souchreditelem known co-operative society “Lake”, and Dmitry Gorelov – the shareholder of bank “Russia”, together with Yury Kovalchukom and Gennady Timchenko’s structures (they are Putin’s old acquaintances). Kolesnikov remembers that Shamalov in 2000 has addressed to it as to the shareholder of medical company “Petromed” with the offer «from president Putin who was at that point in time to give financing for a number of large-scale contracts in sphere of the state public health services”.” Condition of financing of these contracts, – as Kolesnikov writes, – Putin has made transfer by “Petromedom” of 35 %<…>into foreign accounts ». Kolesnikov in the letter explains that this financial fund was ostensibly formed including of donations of oligarchs Roman Abramovich and Alexey Mordashova, and money intended for investments into economy ofRussia.
In 2005 as Kolesnikov writes, «following Putin’s instructions, Shamalov has charged to us to create the company of Open Company” Rosinvest “which quickly became the active investor abreast projects». But after financial crisis of 2008, as appears from Kolesnikov’s letter, “Rosinvest” has suspended work on all projects and has concentrated on erection of “rest house” and a vineyard for manufacture of elite wines (all is the author of the letter names «the Project the South»). As Kolesnikov writes, «Shamalov has transferred me Putin’s decision to suspend work<…>and to be engaged exclusively« in the Project the South », having directed on it all available means». Kolesnikov also informed that «two or three once a year within eight years, under instructions of Shamalova, prepared financial inquiries that it could inform personally president Putin on its investments». The Press Secretary of the prime minister Dmitry Peskov nevertheless asserted that Putin has no relation to theBlack Seapalace.
Because of these events in the end of 2009 Kolesnikov had a rupture with partners then he has dared to tell truth to the president. «The new newspaper» has contacted Sergey Kolesnikov (it now abroad) to clear details of this scandal.
– Judging by your letter, you have faced the facts of corruption still 10 years ago. Why have decided to tell about it just now?
– The Situation in the country today and 10 years ago cardinally differs. In the beginning 2000 there was a general lifting, economic growth has begun, business began to develop actively, the population has felt real improvement of life. Even creation of a vertical of the power has been supported by the people in hope of order restoration. In 2004 the development vector has started to change. After the first judgement on Khodorkovsky’s business large and average business has understood, who in the house the owner, “was constructed” and has accepted game rules. The freedom of speech then began to disappear, and the vertical instead of putting in order has started to acquire the corrupted officials more and more. However, all these phenomena till a time smoothed out proceeding economic growth. In the end of 2008 there has come world crisis and if earlier corruption only contained economic growth after crisis destruction of economy ofRussiahas begun. And the corrupted officials not only do not reduce today the appetites, and on the contrary – increase the sizes of recoils. Such impression that many steels to live «last afternoon». It became clear that the country moves to a precipice, and I have solved: it is impossible to wait further.
– You could not describe more in detail history of your acquaintance to Nikolay Shamalovym and its first reference to you «on behalf of the president»?
– From the beginning of 90th years Shamalov worked as the representative “Siemens” on Northwest district. Our first contacts have been connected with acquisition of the equipment “Siemens” at realisation of projects on equipment of medical institutions. In 2000 Shamalova had a requirement to find the company which could execute in a short space of time great volume of works not only on equipment delivery, but also on designing, and also training of doctors. By and large our company “Petromed” was at that point in time unique inRussiawhich could solve these challenging tasks. So we also have started to work in common.
Today I very much hope that employees of “Petromeda” Will not suffer from that I have told truth to president Medvedev. If with these remarkable, professional people something happens, it will be one more crime of the mighty of this world.
– In the letter you without a doubt share inform that Shamalov «operated on behalf of Putin». And you did not think of what it could be covered simply with acquaintance to the president of that time for achievement of the personal purposes?
– Before the conclusion of contracts I personally met Roman Abramovich and Alexey Mordashovym. They openly said that about donations they were asked by president Putin. At once I will note: all contracts about donations consisted officially, means for accounts too arrived officially. Performance of contracts was supervised constantly by Abramovich’s representatives and directly Mordashov. The choice of charitable projects in the field of public health services has allowed Putin to prove easily the request to oligarchs: on their money the mediko-technical base of the Russian army medical college in St.-Petersburg has been modernised.
– You could not describe more in detail the scheme which to you was offered by Nikolay Shamalov?
– Formation of financial fund at a rate of 35 % from the contract sum was the Condition of reception of contracts. And I want to underline especially: from the very beginning we had an arrangement that this money will be invested in economy ofRussiaand will not intend for Putin’s private use or Shamalova. Therefore shareholders of “Petromeda” have agreed to form this fund at the expense of the profit. Under our task the Russian and western lawyers had been developed legitimate ways of formation of investment fund.
Financing of contracts on equipment of the Russian army medical college has been given by Abramovich and Mordashovym. On this money “Petromed” has put ten thousand units of the medical equipment, modern operational halls, resuscitations and the diagnostic centres have been constructed. If we then have refused these contracts and conditions accompanying them anything it would not be.
– Abramovich and Mordashov were unique who participated in those donations, or there were also others?
– I met only them. There were also other receipts, but these negotiations were conducted by Shamalov.
– Tell, when you have heard for the first time about these of 35 % why at once have not informed on it in mass-media? In the beginning 2000 effect for Putin’s image Could be absolutely other …
– There is a good proverb: «Back mind all are strong». Why we have agreed 10 years ago on this offer? Well, first, because money intended not for Putin and Shamalova, and for really important projects, besides all receipts were carried out under white papers only from private persons or the companies. Means of investment fund should be used only for creation of the modern industrial enterprises inRussia. And secondly, those people who endowed in fund, of course, did not become proprietors of the enterprises in whom fund money was invested. But by and large, whether all equally working or in whole all to a society who the owner – Abramovich, Shamalov, Putin or someone else, – the main thing that hospitals were under construction, the budget replenished.
– You also mention the company which was created ostensibly at the desire of Putin, – “Rosinveste”. You in what function of this company consisted could not specify?
– “Rosinvest” was created in 2005, and realisation of hi-tech investment projects inRussiawas its problem. For four years the company has prepared and partially realised a number of projects in the field of shipbuilding, buildings, lesopererаbotki … For example, Putin very much liked the Center of cardiovascular surgery inPenzawhich has been collected from the special building modules made inGermany. The similar technology allows to construct within one year “on a turn-key basis” the large medical centre. (For the inquiry: inRussiaon hospital construction 15 years leave.) and so to us there was a task in view: to adjust similar manufacture of building modules inRussia, and “Rosinvest” realised this project inCherepovets- in December, 2008 the first modules have been made.
There was a project «Seasideshipyard». InRussiatoday there is no enterprise, capable to make court displacement more than 90 thousand tons, and all gаzovozy, special vessels on extraction and oil refining are made only abroad.
«TheSeasideshipyard» should solve this problem.
There was a project at theVyborgship-building factory (VSZ) on manufacture of chisel platforms for “Gazprom”.
– Concerning this transaction too there were many questions. Observers specified that VSZ has received this contract right after how “Rosinvest” and people close to bank “Russia” became the shareholder of factory, in particular, Dmitry Gorelov – the old partner of friend Putin Yury Kovalchuka …
– Our lobbying consisted only that we could convince “Gazprom” management to entrust performance of this order to the Russian manufacturer because in “Gazprom” there was a bias that inRussiait is impossible to construct similar platforms. In 2005 VSZ, burdened with huge debts, was in the most complicated economic situation. However us the decision what exactly can be made this enterprise base for the further development of domestic shipbuilding was accepted. And we were not mistaken. In rigid competitive struggle VSZ could give the best offer “Gazprom” and completely, has very qualitatively executed the contract. Today both platforms are constructed in cooperation with company “Sаmsung”. Now VSZ, having received modern technologies, can continue building of platforms independently.
– That as a result happens with all these projects?
– In 2009 Shamalov has delivered to my Putin’s message to concentrate all efforts and the finance on «the Project the South». As a result theCherepovetsfactory on manufacture of the building modules necessary for building of hospitals, costs, hundreds workers are dismissed. At theVyborgship-building factory of orders now is not present, and unique collective of workers and engineers which freely work with engineering specifications in foreign languages, today on the verge of dismissal.
– And all ostensibly because of Putin’s decision to concentrate means for palace erection?
– And how financing «the Project the South» was carried out?
– The Project began together with Administrative Department of the President. In 2005 the contract with volume of financing of 400 million roubles (approximately 14 million dollars) has been signed. I assumed that the estimate can grow in 2-3 times, but could not present in any way that almost in 100. To the middle of 2009 all financing of the project was carried out only by “Rosinvest”. Quite probably that in the end of 2009 and by 2010 to financing «the Project the South» which by that moment already belonged to Shamalovu, other investors could be connected.
– From your letter follows that rupture has occurred to Nikolay Shamalovym after you have learnt that Shamalov ostensibly carries materials for building by contraband. But really so insignificant infringement – – could serve in scales of all project as the reason for rupture?
– Rupture with Shamalovym has arisen not only because of the accepted It of the decision on illicit import of finishing materials though it has served as last and very considerable fact as it is simple «stupid ugolovkа». Our disagreements, and it is not so much with Shamalovym, how many with Putin, have begun after its decision on the termination of financing of all investment projects. It was in a sense «the true moment». Putin’s decision not only has crossed out our initial arrangements, but also has shown real priorities of the power. Personal palaces have appeared more important. I hoped for completely opposite decision – a suspension «the Project the South» and concentration of means on the decision of economic problems. It has turned out that my work and work of thousand the people occupied in these projects, in a reality is necessary to nobody. Us have simply deceived. Still anything if it concerned me one, but in the street there were thousand workers and engineers, they have families, children. And here I could not agree with it.
– By your words, company “Rosinvest” was created on request of Putin, transferred through Shamalova. How Putin was vygodopriobretаtelem from activity of “Rosinvesta”?
– The property Structure in “Rosinveste” finally is fixed by bearer shares. On 2 % of actions belonged to me, Gorelov and Shamalovu. To Putin Shamalov has transferred 94 % of actions.
– You have mentioned Dmitry Gorelov’s your partner. Success of its business – too in close relations with Putin and its friends-businessmen?
– Gorelov also considered that the termination of financing of investment projects is an error. And he was not agree with opinion of Shamalova that has led to rupture of their relations and Gorelov’s exit in the spring of 2010 from company “Rirus” which are the proprietor «the Project the South». After Gorelov’s exit of “Rirus” on 100 % belongs to Shamalovu.
– Throughout these 10 years of work with Putin’s friends at you did not arise sensations, what it is impossible to name similar activity business?
– Today the success of any large business depends on, whether its higher authority supports or not. And as the opinion of the power can change, inRussiaany large-scale projects which have been not connected with the power, recently and does not develop.
– After the letter to you threats arrived, whether pressure was put?
– Certain pressure appears. I knew that there is a task to “dig out” on me everything that only it is possible. Probably, in the near future I learn about myself It is a lot of new.
– Whether you Feel support from business community? Whether it seems to you, what fault of an arbitrariness of corruption was also business which, on the one hand, encourages korrupcionerov, with another – is afraid to express support by that who tries to struggle with corruption publicly?
– I have received a significant amount of responses in which businessmen and simple people support my position. For me it is very important. Today the business community is separated and cannot resist to a corruption vertical to the full. Forces are not equal. Large business actively uses this vertical, on cheap stuff buying necessary decisions. Small business tries to survive. The situation has reached a critical point. Very many active and talented people continue to leave the country.
– Your letter is addressed president Dmitry Medvedev. You assign to it any special hopes?
– The Corruption vertical is constructed by Putin and used by it for personal enrichment. President Medvedev has today all necessary power to understand with the facts and to make lawful decisions. I do not have bases not to trust the president. I consider the letter as a litmus piece of paper: reaction of the president, deputies and each person will show their real attitude to the situation which have developed inRussia. Or there is a desire to understand and establish true, or all suits all, all know all and understand also want to change nothing. I hope for the best: very much it would be desirable to return to other Russia.