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Friday 10.04.2020 | Name days: Anita, Anitra, Zīle

ZZS member Jānis Dūklavs’ business partner ends up under US sanctions

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US, sanctions, ZZS, Jānis Dūklavs, Yaroslavl Shipyard, Finsudprom, Russia

Jānis Dūklavs

USA has added Yaroslavl Shipyard to its list of sanctions. For years Saema deputy Jānis Dūklavs’ (ZZS) business partner from Russia Igor Shekhelev was associated with this company, as reported by LTV programme De Facto.

Igor Shekhelev claimed in an interview to De Facto that he no longer has any association with this shipyard.

LTV programme had previously reported that Shekhelev is the ex-agriculture minister and now Saeima opposition deputy Dūklavs’ business partner at Piebalgas Alus brewery. He is engaged in fishing, real estate and artistic patronage. For several years he has been associated with Yaroslavl Shipyard. This shipyard also works on orders from the Russian Federal Security Service and Defence Ministry, De Facto reports.

The programme reminds that USA added Yaroslavl Shipyard to its list of sanctions earlier this spring. It was part of the country’s response to Russia’s alleged aggression in Ukraine and the incident in Kerch Strait.

The US decision mentions that Russian state-owned Yaroslavl Shipyard developed some ship project that was later finished at some shipyard in the annexed Crimea. Likely the vessel in question is Vodolaz Kuzminykh diving ship.

Around the same time – summer 2018 – Yaroslavl Shipyard also festively presented the ship Balaklava. It was built for Russian Federal Security Service for protection of the Crimean coast, De Facto notes.

Shekhelev has also been in high posts in Finsudprom for years. Among other things, this company was engaged in management of Yaroslavl Shipyard. The shipyard maintained its ties with Finsudprom until mid-2018. Finsudprom called Yaroslavl Shipyard as its partner for much longer than that – until mid-2019, when USA had already imposed its sanctions against the shipyard. Both companies have since erased mutual relations from their websites, the programme reports.

Shekhelev now has nothing in common with Finsudprom. This was the answer De Facto received from Baltic Marine Holding Company, where Shekhelev now concentrates his businesses in Latvia: «Mr. Shekhelev’s cooperation with Finsudprom was terminated a good time before March 2019, when US sanctions were imposed against Yaroslavl Shipyard: he left his position as director general of Finsudprom at the beginning of May 2015. In April 2018 his work in Finsudprom Board of Directors was officially ceased. Mr. Shekhelev has never been a shareholder in Finsudprom

This explanation implies Shekhelev had left the company associated with Yaroslavl Shipyard prior to its addition to the US list of sanctions. However, he was still there when the aforementioned and other Russian vessels were in the works there, De Facto says.

The Russian Register of Enterprises has information that one of Finsudprom shareholders may be Shekhelev wife, but according to him, this information is not true. «Data regarding joint stock companies in Russia are incomplete because data mentions historic founders, not the current shareholders.»

Shekhelev told De Facto – the Finsudprom owner mentioned in Russian register had purchased one of Finsudprom’s once founded companies, but it no longer owns Finsudprom shares.

Shekhelev has provided different organizations and finance institutions information and documents detailing the end of cooperation with Finsudprom and Yaroslavl Shipyard before sanctions were imposed, the programme notes.

«For a long time the Union of Greens and Farmers was responsible for defence in the Cabinet of Ministers. However, ZZS representative Dūklavs was not particularly interested in Shekhelev’s work at the shipyard in Russia and believed his word when Shekhelev told him he has nothing to do with Russian state orders.»

«However, it is hard to Yaroslavl Shipyard to hide its ties to the army and special services – the shipyard has manufactured vessels for the navy and the Federal Security Service.»

Several years ago Shekhelev discussed with the governor of Yaroslavl Oblast different state orders, De Facto notes.

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