Russia's state auditor denies 4 billion dollar fraud
Russia's state auditor on Thurday denied allegations that four billion dollars were stolen in course of oil monopoly Transneft's Trans-Siberian pipeline project.
Transneft minority shareholder Alexei Navalny published documents on his blog Tuesday alleging a four-billion-dollar fraud in the course of building the East Siberia Pacific Ocean pipeline.
The Russian Audit Chamber did check into spending on the ESPO pipeline in 2008, but "there is no four-billion-dollar fraud," said the chamber's head Sergei Stepashin, RIA news agency reported.
The 5,000-kilometre-long pipeline connects Siberia's oil fields with the Far Eastern port of Kozmino and the first segment was launched last December with the goal of boosting Asian exports.
Transneft has refused to comment on Navalny's claims, though spokesman Igor Demin confirmed that the company did an internal check into spending on the project under previous management.
© 2010 AFP