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Rosneft CEO Sechin Set to Skip Court Again

Igor Sechin (Vladimir Smirnov / TASS)

The head of Russia's state oil giant Rosneft is set to miss another appearance as a witness in the high-profile bribery case of a former minister this week, even after he vowed to attend when his schedule allowed.

Former Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev was arrested in late 2016 for soliciting a bribe from Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin. Prosecutors say Ulyukayev asked for $2 million to sign off on Rosneft’s acquisition of another oil firm last year.

Sechin dodged court summons twice last week. He later said he would try to attend when he was able to fit it into his schedule.

The CEO’s spokesman Mikhail Leontiev told the Kommersant FM radio station Tuesday that Sechin is scheduled to accompany Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on a regional visit.

“There is no way Igor Sechin would be able to attend the Nov. 22 hearing,” Leontiev said Tuesday.

Medvedev’s press office, however, told the Vedomosti business daily that the prime minister is returning to Moscow on Tuesday, the day of the Ulyukayev hearing.

Sechin later clarified to the state-run RIA Novosti news agency that he plans to stay behind to “wrap up” Medvedev’s visit in Khanty-Mansiisk.

“Besides, the weather conditions are still very severe there, so you can’t accurately say how and when they will arrive and when they’ll return,” Leontiev told Kommersant prior to Medvedev's statement.

Leontiev also criticized the court for not coordinating with Sechin’s schedule before setting court appearance dates.

“After all, he leads the largest company whose schedule, actions and so on are in the context of the schedule of others.”

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