Russian police deliberately misinform foreign colleagues

Interfax: Russia & CIS General Newswire

Ex-Bank of Moscow CEO Andrei Borodin has accused Russian police of deliberately distorting facts in the decision to initiate his prosecution and to arrest his foreign assets.

“The attack on me continues. They present either old or unreliable information,” Borodin told Interfax by phone on Wednesday night.

Borodin had been the Bank of Moscow head since the moment of its establishment and a major shareholder. VTB acquired 46.5% in the Bank of Moscow from the city government in early 2011 and had an altercation with the previous management as a result of which Borodin left the country. After he was gone, Bank of Moscow financial problems were highlighted in relation with massive crediting of entities affiliated with the bank executives. In the end, the Central Bank, the Deposit Insurance Agency and VTB decided to start financial recovery of the bank. The Deposit Insurance Agency granted a ten-year loan of 295 billion rubles, while VTB Group added 102 billion rubles to its capital. That was the most expensive financial recovery in the modern history of Russian banks. Borodin said the problems of the Bank of Moscow were exaggerated in the interests of the new owner.

The Moscow Tverskoi District Court ordered in absentia the arrest of Borodin on abuse of office charges in May (the accusation was later changed to fraud). The banker, who had moved to the UK, was put on the international wanted list.

Borodin came into the media limelight in the past few weeks, first, in connection with the Anatomy of Protest-2 film, which called him a Russian opposition sponsor, and then in connection with the seizure of assets and several criminal cases abroad (in Estonia and, according to unverified reports, in the Bahamas). The Bank of Moscow laid additional claims for 85 billion rubles to its former chief.

“The so-called law enforcement system of Russia tries to take advantage of genuinely legal jurisdictions for achieving its unlawful goals and misinforms foreign colleagues. For instance, they allege the damage I did to the Bank of Moscow was equal to the full value of a loan to Premier Estate (approximately 13 billion rubles) although even in the midst of the crisis the pawned land cost at least over 10 billion rubles. That is sheer lie and I think we can prove it,” Borodin said.

Concerning new claims of the Bank of Moscow, Borodin recalled that the bank had been under VTB control for about two years. “Did it take them so long to make it out? I think this is propaganda and an attempt to force me to stop saying that governmental aid was illegal, same as the selling of Moscow’s stake,” he said.

The banker linked the keen interest in him with the latest interview with the Forbes magazine. “I spoke again about the involvement of Medvedev in that case (the change of owners of the Bank of Moscow),” he said.

Borodin said that ex-Energy Minister Igor Yusufov mediated the negotiations on selling a stake in the Bank of Moscow on behalf and under the orders of then President Dmitry Medvedev.

Medvedev’s press secretary Natalia Timakova had commented on that statement. She said then President Medvedev never took part in commercial negotiations and gave no instructions pertaining to commercial projects. “Alas, references to the alleged directives from the national administration have become ‘haut ton’ in the business community. Let such pronouncements be on the conscience of those who make them,” she said.

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