Skolkovo Graft Suspect Suspended from Present Job

MOSCOW, February 14 (RIA Novosti) – The former high-ranking official of the Skolkovo Foundation, suspected of embezzlement, has been temporarily relieved of his duties as the head of the Russian Energy Agency (REA), the Russian Energy Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

The Russian Investigative Committee said on Tuesday that it had opened a criminal investigation against two high-ranking Skolkovo officials, including former Skolkovo Foundation’s finance director Kirill Lugovtsev. The official is suspected of being involved in a scheme that embezzled 24 million rubles ($800,000) by signing a disadvantageous real estate rental contract.

“In connection with the official statement by the Investigative Committee… Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak has signed a decree to temporarily suspend Lugovtsev K. I. from his present post until all circumstances are established,” the energy ministry said in a statement.

The Skolkovo Foundation earlier said in a statement that Lugovtsev “had to leave his post” following an inspection by the foundation’s interior audit department in fall 2012.

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