VimpelCom Russia Chief Resigns Amid Corruption Scandal

The chief executive of telecommunications giant VimpelCom in Russia has resigned after being named as a "person of interest" in a corruption probe, the company announced in a statement Monday.

Mikhail Slobodin oversaw VimpelCom brand Beeline, one of Russia’s biggest mobile operators. He told colleagues that he would resign to avoid damaging the company's reputation, Russia's Vedomosti newspaper reported.

The probe relates to Slobodin's role on the board of directors for energy company T Plus, a subsidiary of the Renova Group business conglomerate. The company is owned by one of Russia’s richest men, Viktor Vekselberg.

Russia's Federal Investigative Committee announced the arrests of  Boris Vaizikher, general director of T Plus, and Evgeny Olykhov, managing director of the Renova Group, on Monday.

Both men are suspected of bribing officials in northern Russia's resource-abundant Komi Republic. 

Slobodin, who is currently in France on business, intends to return to Russia before the end of the week to face questioning from investigators, Vedomosti reported.

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