MOSCOW, April 25 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian authorities will not permit embezzlement at the state-owned Skolkovo hi-tech hub, President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday in the wake of a recent fraud probe.
“We’ll watch closely how money is spent and for what purposes. I’m confident no embezzlement will be allowed there [Skolkovo],” Putin said during his annual televised QA session.
Russian investigators opened a criminal case on Friday against Skolkovo’s Vice-President Alexei Beltyukov, accusing him of embezzling $750,000 in state funds and paying the money to opposition lawmaker Ilya Ponomaryov.
Investigators claim Beltyukov attempted to conceal the alleged theft by signing a number of agreements between the Skolkovo foundation and Ponomaryov.
The criminal case is the latest in a series of probes of Skolkovo executives.
Investigators previously opened a criminal case against former senior Skolkovo manager Kirill Lugovtsev and the head of the foundation’s subsidiary Skolkovo Innovation Center Customs Finance Company (TFK Skolkovo) Vladimir Khokhlov over their alleged role in the embezzlement of 24 million rubles (about $760,000) from federal budget funds.
Skolkovo Innovation Center