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Ulyukayev Faces 10-Year Sentence in Rosneft Embezzlement Trial

Alexei Ulyukaev (Vedyshkin Sergei / Moskva News Agency)

Prosecutors have asked for a 10-year prison sentence and a fine of 500 million rubles ($8.5 million) for former Russian Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev.

Ulyukayev was arrested in a November 2016 sting operation at Rosneft's Moscow headquarters. It was the first arrest of a government minister in a decade and it sent deep shockwaves through the entire Russian elite.

He stands accused of soliciting a $2-million bribe from the CEO of Russia's oil giant Rosneft Igor Sechin in 2016. Prosecutors say Ulyukayev asked for the sum in exchange for signing off on Rosneft’s acquisition of another oil firm last year.

"I request that Ulyukayev receives a punishment equal to 10 years in a high-security prison," prosecutor Boris Neporozhny was cited by the Interfax news agency as saying Monday.

"I also believe it is necessary to fine Ulyukayev an additional 500 million rubles."

Last week, Ulyukayev told the court that he believed the "basket" offered to him during a brief visit to Rosneft’s office had only contained bottles of wine, though it actually contained cash.

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