Support The Moscow Times!

Lawmaker Quits Over Alleged Business Ties

Little-known lawmaker Alexander Knyshov, pictured, has denied any involvement in business activities since being elected to the country's lower house in December.

A United Russia lawmaker being investigated for business ties said Friday that he had decided to vacate his parliamentary post voluntarily.

Alexei Knyshov, a little-known deputy who sits on the State Duma's Construction and Land Use Committee, said he decided to throw in the towel after investigators argued that he was running a business alongside his parliamentary duties, which is against the law.

The State Duma, which could now revoke Knyshov's mandate, said it had received the Investigative Committee's report on Knyshov, RIA-Novosti reported Friday, citing unnamed sources.

This week, investigators said in a statement that Knyshov headed two construction firms in his native Rostov-on-Don, in southern Russia, and was also an owner of a Slovakia-registered company.

"I have made the difficult decision to leave the Duma," Knyshov said on his Live Journal blog Friday. He said he made the decision so as not to make his party colleagues "face a difficult choice."

While Knyshov has denied any involvement in business activities since being elected to the country's lower house in December, he also said he doesn't have any proof that he doesn't own a Slovakian firm.

Investigators first opened a probe into Knyshov after Dmitry Gudkov, a left-wing opposition lawmaker with the Just Russia party, published documents accusing Knyshov and other high-ranking Duma deputies of running businesses while holding parliamentary posts.

Gudkov's father, Gennady Gudkov, a senior Just Russia lawmaker, was stripped of his Duma mandate on the same charges in September after the ruling United Russia party swayed a Duma vote.

Gudkov said at the time that the move was retaliation for his prominent role as an organizer of protests against President Vladimir Putin's rule.

Related articles:

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

The Moscow Times’ team of journalists has been first with the big stories on the coronavirus crisis in Russia since day one. Our exclusives and on-the-ground reporting are being read and shared by many high-profile journalists.

We wouldn’t be able to produce this crucial journalism without the support of our loyal readers. Please consider making a donation to The Moscow Times to help us continue covering this historic time in the world’s largest country.