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Congressman Urge Checks on Kiriyenko

Published: June 29, 2004 (Issue # 981)



  • Sergei Kiriyenko
    Photo: For The St. Petersburg Times

MOSCOW - Five American congressmen are asking U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell to investigate whether former Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko might be seeking a U.S. residence permit and might have played a role in the disappearance of a multibillion-dollar IMF loan during his tenure.

Kiriyenko, now the presidential envoy to the Volga Federal District, angrily denounced the allegations Monday as "a bold lie."

The five congressman, all Republican members of the House of Representatives, said in a letter to Powell that "Western European sources" had informed them that Kiriyenko recently purchased property in Illinois possibly in order to apply for permanent U.S. residence, and they expressed concern over the origins of any money he might have invested in the United States.

"In 1998, when Kiriyenko was prime minister, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) released $4.8 billion in aid to Russia. This money apparently never reached the Russian government and is now completely unaccounted for," said the June 4 letter, a copy of which was obtained by The St Petersburg Times.

"As you know, a foreigner who invests $1 million in a company in the United States can apply for U.S. permanent residence, or a green card' as it is colloquially known, provided that certain business condition are met. Our sources indicate that Mr. Kiriyenko purchased property in the Chicago area, and may have submitted an application for permanent residence status," the letter said.

"If these allegations are true, we urge you to work with all appropriate government agencies, including the Bureau of Customs and Immigration Enforcement to determine the intentions of Mr. Kiriyenko and determine the origins of his funds," it said.

The letter's signatories are Philip Crane of Wauconda, Illinois; Mike Pence of Columbus, Indiana; Charles Norwood of Evans, Georgia; Dan Burton of Indianapolis, Indiana; and Henry Bonilla of San Antonio, Texas.

None of the congressmen were available for comment Monday.

The U.S. State Department's Europe and Russia Affairs Desk was aware of reports about the letter and was waiting to receive a copy of it before issuing a comment, said a spokeswoman from Washington.

Kiriyenko suggested that the congressmen might not have known all the facts before they signed the letter.

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Saturday, Sept. 20


Starting on Sept. 18 and ending tomorrow is the Extreme Fantasy Wakeboarding Festival in Sunpark by Sredny Suzdalskoye lake in the Ozerki region of the city.


Those after something more laid back can instead head to Jazz and Wine night at TerraVino with legendary jazz guitarist Ildar Kazahanov. 12/14 Admiralteyskaya Emb.



Sunday, Sept. 21


Learn more about African culture and get some exercise during today’s “Djembe and Vuvuzela,” a bike ride starting in Palace Square that includes several stops where riders can listen to the music of Africa or watch short films about the continent. The riders plan to set off at 4 p.m. and all you need to join is a set of wheels.



Monday, Sept. 22


Do you love puppetry? If so, then be sure to go to BTK-Fest, a five-day festival that starts on Sept. 19 celebrating the art. Contemporaries from France, Belgium, the U.K. and other countries will join Russian artists to put on theatrical performances involving a variety of themes, materials and eras. Workshops and meetings are also scheduled for a chance to discuss the artistic medium in further depth.



Tuesday, Sept. 23


Marina Suhih, Director of the External Communications Department at Rostelecom North-West, and Yana Donskaya, HR Director for Northern Capital Gateway are just some of the confirmed participants of today’s round table discussion on “Interaction with Trade Unions” being hosted by SPIBA. Confirm your attendance with SPIBA by Sept. 22.


Kino Expo 2014, an international film industry convention, will be at LenExpo from today until Sept. 26. The third largest exhibition of film equipment in the world, the expo focuses on not only Russia but former Soviet republics as well.



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