Publication: Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 203

Yabloko leader Grigory Yavlinsky kept up his attack on alleged governmental corruption Monday (November 2), when he handed over to Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov a parliamentary interrogatory containing questions over alleged corruption among members of the cabinet. The document, which was made public Monday, was signed by three members of Yabloko’s parliamentary faction, but not by Yavlinsky himself. In the “zapros” (inquiry) the Yabloko deputies asked Primakov whether the government had made any decisions relating to commercial structures which First Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Maslyukov or any of his close relatives helped to create. They wanted to know whether such companies received any “special conditions” for their economic activity or funds from the federal budget. The deputies also asked Primakov what he knows about Deputy Prime Minister Gennady Kulik’s activities as one of the heads of Rosinterbank and whether Primakov has information concerning money which the bank, allegedly, sent abroad illegally. The question was raised about Kulik’s alleged involvement in funneling agriculture ministry funds to the firm “Expa” and in a pyramid-type scheme called “Harvest-90.” Further questions concerned the role which First Deputy Prime Minister Vadim Gustov, former governor of Leningrad Oblast, played in a port-building project in Ust-Luga on the Gulf of Finland, and what happened to this project and the money for it, which came from the state coal company “Rosugol” and other investors.

The Yabloko interrogatory also raises the question of whether Primakov was offered money in return for appointing Andrei Vavilov, a former deputy finance minister who later went on to head MFK, a leading commercial bank, as finance minister. Prior to formation of the present cabinet, there were rumors that Vavilov would be tapped for the job. In the summer of 1997, Vavilov’s name figured in a scandal involving the misappropriation of US$237 million in government funds to provide MiG fighters to India. Earlier that year, while Vavilov was still in the government, a bomb destroyed his car while it was parked near his finance ministry office (Russian agencies, November 2).