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Putin Allies Get Biggest Contracts

Two companies co-owned by people seen as close to President Vladimir Putin were awarded the biggest road and bridge construction contracts by City Hall in 2011 and 2012, Vedomosti reported Monday.

In the period, a total of 150 road and bridge construction contracts worth 182.4 billion rubles ($6 billion) were awarded, a representative of City Hall’s construction department said.

Of the contracts worth over 300 million rubles each, two thirds were awarded to ARKS, a construction company co-owned by Gennady Timchenko, Arkady Rotenberg’s Mostotrest, Kosmos and Ingeokom.

ARKS obtained contracts worth 40 billion rubles, while Mostotrest was awarded deals worth at least 44 billion rubles.

ARKS’ contract portfolio includes three road upgrades and an interchange on Volgogradsky Prospekt. In the first half of 2010, under then-Mayor Yury Luzhkov, ARKS was also the most successful bidder, winning contracts worth 7.4 billion rubles.

Timchenko acquired a stake in ARKS in 2011. Sources close to Timchenko told Vedomosti then that the businessman usually gets stakes in exchange for helping companies in their dealings with the government. Vladimir Lavlentsev, another co-owner of ARKS, was a deputy head of the municipal contracts department until November 2010.

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