Thursday, October 31, 2013

Prosecutors Crack Down on Skolkovo President

The president of the Skolkovo Foundation, Russia's high-tech development center, had a personal stake in issuing unfounded research and developments grants, the Prosecutor General’s Office announced on Wednesday. The prosecutors claim that 17 grants totaling 3.6 billion rubles ($112 million) were issued without the requisite evaluation, and that three members of the grant committee, including the fund’s president, had a personal stake in the matter. In addition, The Prosecutor General's office reports a possible misuse of up to 125 billion rubles ($4 billion) of budget funds, and that the construction of the fund's facilities was conducted without proper licenses and papers confirming property rights. The Prosecutor General’s Office issued a warning, calling upon the fund to compensate the damages and to determine the party responsible. The Skolkovo Foundation, set up in 2010 by then-President Dmitry Medvedev, is the primary agency for the Skolkovo high-tech development hub, which includes a business center, a science and technology institute, and a management school. The project is intended to showcase the drive to diversify and modernize the Russian economy. Billionaire Renova Group president Viktor Vekselberg is the foundation's president and head of the Skolkovo Fund.

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