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|06MOSCOW3389||2006-03-31 13:52||2011-08-30 01:44||CONFIDENTIAL||Embassy Moscow|
DE RUEHMO #3389 0901352
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 311352Z MAR 06
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3390
INFO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0212
C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 003389
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/31/2016
TAGS: PREL KFIN IZ RS
SUBJECT: GOR PLANS TO TAKE NO ACTION AS A RESULT OF
REF: STATE 40595
Classified By: Minister-Counselor for Political Affairs Kirk Augustine.
For Reasons 1.4 (B/D).
¶1. (C) The Russian Government does not intend to take any
steps as a result of the findings of the Independent Inquiry
Committee (IIC) which investigated the UN's Oil-for-Food
(OFF) Program. Despite the IIC's findings that the GOR
itself and Russian business firms, political parties and
politicians were far and away the largest recipients of oil
vouchers allocated under Saddam's scheme to influence
decision makers, the MFA told us on March 31 that no legal
action would be taken to look into any of the IIC's
allegations. MFA UN Political Affairs Section Chief Vladimir
Safronkov said that the Russian Government had rejected the
authenticity of many of the documents presented by the
Committee which indicated high-level official corruption.
Safronkov also told us that the MFA had contacted some of the
companies named in the IIC report, and they had likewise
denied any culpability and challenged the evidence presented
by the IIC.
¶2. (C) Comment: Safronkov's comment echoes FM Lavrov's
October 28, 2005 statement that the Committee had not
clarified the authenticity of challenged documents to the
satisfaction of the Foreign Ministry, and that many of them
appeared to be forged. The GOR has never been particularly
cooperative with the Volcker Committee, and most Russia firms
refused to turn over any documents. The IIC final report
drew across-the-board denials from the wide range of Russian
officials and companies accused of corruption and fraud.