Usmanov allegations repeated in European Parliament

The allegations that Craig Murray made against Alisher Usmanov (see here for backstory) have been repeated in the European Parliament by Tom Wise MEP. This means they are now covered by parliamentary privilege and can be repeated by anyone. Way to go, Schillings.

You can hear the allegations on blip.tv, or download the MP3 file.

Alternately, here is a transcript I’ve made of Wise’s speech:

Madam Chairman, Mr Commissioner,

when the EU talks of a common foreign policy you need to be very aware of exactly who you propose to do business with. President Putin is on record as [unclear] should be under no illusions if it wants to buy gas it has to deal with the Russian state. Gazprom is not a private company, it is a state-controlled tool of Russian foreign policy, one moreover in the hands of President Putin and allegedly organised crime.

Take for example Alisher Usmanov. This gentleman, the son of a Communist apparatchik, is chairman of Gazprom inside Russia. He is the man we would be doing business with. He is the man who cuts off gas supplies if client states dare to question Gazprom’s demands.

Allegedly a gangster and racketeer, he served a six year jail sentence in the Soviet Union in the 1980s, his eventual pardon coming at the behest of Usbek mafia chief and heroin overlord Gafur Rachimov, described as Usmanov’s mentor.

Usmanov bought the newspaper Kommersant; 3 months later the journalist Ivan Safranov, a critic of the Putin regime who just weeks earlier had been vigorously interrogated by the FSB — as the KGB is now called — mysteriously fell to his death from his apartment window, still clutching a recently purchased [unclear]. According to Craig Murray, the former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, it was Usmanov who ordered the cutting-off of supplies to Georgia earlier this year. Please take note [unclear] the construction of a pipeline to the EU over Georgian territory

These are the people you want to do business with? These are the people you are moulding your foreign policy on energy around? Commisioner, good luck, you’ll need it.

(via The Wardman Wire, England Expects, Mr Eugenides, Bloggerheads; this article also posted on Amused Cynicism and is available if you Visit Thanos Home)

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