Peru leader's brother in rogue Russia talks

8th July 2011, Comments 0 comments

Peru's incoming leader Ollanta Humala faced an embarrassing foreign policy blunder even before he takes office when it emerged Thursday his brother had conducted gas deal talks in Russia without the president-elect or anyone else's consent.

Alexis Humala, it has emerged, was received in Moscow by Russia Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and top officials with Russian gas giant Gazprom as his brother's "special envoy," all while the incoming leader met in Washington this week with President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The only problem was that neither president-elect Humala, or the outgoing government of Alan Garcia had sanctioned, coordinated or apparently knew of the trip ahead of time.

The president-elect has promised to clarify the situation when he returns to Lima later Thursday.

Peru's Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Garcia Belaunde said he learned of the meetings from his counterpart in Moscow and Gazprom directors.

"This sounds like someone who is trying to capitalize on being close to power, and attempting to use that to influence business deals," political commentator Fernando Rospigliosi told AFP.

Local reports indicated Alexis Humula had studied geology in Russia, and had married a Russian, from who he is separated.

Leftist Ollanta Humala is set to take office after his July 28 inauguration, after beating conservative legislator Keiko Fujimori in last month's election.

© 2011 AFP

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