Vladimir Yakunin, head of Russia's railroad monopoly Russian Railways, is suing The New York Times in a Russian court for libel, saying the respected U.S. newspaper has erroneously accused him of breaking the law, Russian news agencies reported Monday.
Yakunin, who has been sanctioned by the U.S. government over Russia's role in the Ukraine crisis, is not a seeking a cash settlement from the newspaper but rather a retraction to be printed in Russia, the United States, Germany and Austria, news agencies TASS and RAPSI reported, citing Yakunin's lawyer.
The lawsuit was prompted by an article printed on April 27 last year, TASS reported.
The New York Times ran an article on that date headlined "Sanctions Revive Search for Secret Putin Fortune" that says Yakunin is "close" to the Russian president and is rumored to have "made sizable cash payments to Putin," without elaborating. The article cites as its source a U.S. diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks, an organization that publishes classified reports and other leaked information.
Court proceedings are scheduled to begin on Feb. 19, RAPSI reported.