Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Skolkovo Boss Denies Financing Opposition

The president of Russia's Skolkovo Foundation, billionaire businessman Viktor Vekselberg, denied on Wednesday earlier allegations that the foundation funded the political opposition. Russian investigators opened a criminal case last month against Alexei Beltyukov, the foundation’s vice president, over suspicions he illegally paid $750,000 to opposition lawmaker Ilya Ponomaryov, ostensibly for a series of lectures and research projects. “No, [Skolkovo] is in no way involved,” Vekselberg said at a news conference. Both Ponomaryov and Beltyukov have denied any wrongdoing. Beltyukov was suspended from his post earlier this month. The Skolkovo Foundation which manages the eponymous high-tech hub, is a pet project of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and was opened during his presidency in 2010.

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