Exclusive Interview from Prison
17 November, 2011
Exclusive Interview from Prison

How Khodorkovski made 8 billions, old relations between Ivanishvili and Malkin

Recently we received a phone call from businessman Merab Ratishvili, currently an inmate of Rustavi #6 prison. Once he was the President of National Golf Association of Georgia. Moreover, in the past he used to be a deputy of Boris Berezovski, CIS executive secretary and then the president of international organization of CIS economic cooperation. At one point he knew key players in the Russian business very well. Among them were

Khodorkovski, Malkin, and others, including Bidzina Ivanishvili. He was in a haste to tell us everything because the phone connection used to terminate every five minutes.

 

A: I and Khodorkovski are peers. We used to work together in the City Committee of Moscow Komsomol. According to the order of Georgian Government I was sending oil to Georgia. The war was in full swing at the time. Khodorkovski stopped the fuel I sent to Georgia. He demanded to sell it to him. I was using his bank (Menatep) for the operations. He blackmailed me: either sell or say good bye to it. I refused, saying that the oil was needed for my country. Then he called Fuel and Energy Minister Shakhranik, his deputy Fomin and they cancelled my quotas. They did not allow the ship enter the port for 45 days because the TransNefts did not reimburse me the cost. They stopped all my operation there. I lost 4 million dollars.

Khodorkovski did everything to have me lose the oil. We had common friends, used to know each other since the age of 22. Nevertheless, he and Platon Lebedev, who is in prison together with him, did all these to me. Well, I acknowledge that they are political prisoners. I just want to tell you about what they have done years ago. They were fighting against me. I managed to have Khodorkovski fined. In response, he had the law enforcers threaten me to stop or else they would get the drop on my family. So, I had to send my family out of the country in September, 1993.

Q: Can you tell us something about the infamous auction of deposits and possible links to it of Khodorkovski and Bidzina Ivanishvili?

A: The auction of deposits was an activity area of the Round Table of Russian Businessmen, where I was a member of both presidium and council. Ivanishvili did take part in it. Malkin was there instead of him. They gave the credit of 100 million to Khodorkovski. He invested it into the auction. When the packages were opened, they found that Khodorkovski managed to grab the property worth of 2 billions by means of only 100 million. Those 2 billions must have been as much as 4 billions at that time. It happened in December, 1995. A week later we discussed the issue at the council of the Round Table. Khodorkovski did not come. But all top figures were present. Malkin too was there instead of Ivanishvili because Malkin was the president of his bank, while Ivanishvili was the vice-president. I asked the executive secretary not to allow anybody inside with bodyguards and everybody leave weapons at the entrance. They took a due note of my suggestion because situation was extremely explosive. People of the Khodorkovski’s Menatep Bank could have easily been ripped apart. Khodorkovski started with Menatep and finished with Yukos. He also grabbed the money of the Communist Party.

Q: How much?

A: Billions. At that time, the Communist Party had more money than the country’s budget. If not me, Khodorkovski’s deputy would have been beaten up at the council meeting. Khodorkovski cheated the people. That way he amassed 8 billion.

Q: What do you know about Bidzina Ivanishvili’s activities in Russia?

A: I know Bidzina since 1996. He was a smart, gifted and very orderly guy. The people who followed his mentoring are multi-millionaires already. If anybody has legal business in the CIS, it’s Bidzina Ivanishvili.

Q: But he is accused of having ties with Malkin. What do you make of it?

A: I do not know in what problems Malkin has entangled himself. I am inclined to think that he is being set up by his competitors. That’s all. I doubt he committed anything even resembling a crime. I cannot believe that he was involved in arms trade.

Q: The Authorities call Bidzina Ivanishvili the Russia’s guy.

A: Absolute nonsense. It’s silly when they say that Ivanishvili is not a politician. He has potential. We have not had a man of his abilities so far. I fear that among the people visiting Bidzina, there could be agents who next day report to the MIA. I mean the people who want to hitch their decrepit carriages to Ivanishvili’s train.

Q: They say that Ivanishvili could not have made his fortune in Russia without Putin…

A: That’s why he left Russia. His partners are taking care of his business. His help to the Authorities is so immense that even their parents could not have done it. Well, these guys are blind. They can’t see anybody’s good deeds.

Q: Some people even say that Bidzina Ivanishvili is in danger.

A: Danger is always there. After our conversation, I too will be in danger but I can’t help talking with you. What can I do here, inside the four walls? I am sure Mr. Ivanishvili calculated everything in advance and knows that these guys will do any indecency. I want him to stand firm and keep his team clear of traitors as much as possible. Once we did talk about the fate of our country but we have talked last to each other 7-8 years ago. I was glad that he entered politics. On the other hand, I became anxious about who is going to stand beside him. So far, those who seem to be active and visible, are capable of stabbing his back.

Q: Who do you mean?

A: I cannot name them. He himself knows it very well. He must have studied all of  them already. He will not do anything without planning.

Q: By the way, the council meeting held on the auction of deposits was attended by Kakha Bendukidze, the former Georgian Minister of Economy.

A: If he is a decent man, Bendukidze has to tell the Authorities that Bidzina is the purest man in business.

Q: Did he and Bidzina Ivanishvili ever confront each other?

A: No, Ivanishvili would never appear in person. Malkin was always in the forefront.

Q: Why that?

A: Bidzina knew that a Georgian would not be allowed to succeed in Russia. It was Bidzina who founded the bank, who formed its kitchen and human resources. Malkin was admitting it. If I were out of prison I would recall many other things. But it’s enough for now.

Print
Other Stories
Euronest Parliamentary Assembly calls on international community to use all available means to ensure release of illegally detained Georgian doctor
The Euronest Parliamentary Assembly has adopted a special statement regarding Vazha Gaprindashvili, the Georgian doctor who is in illegal detention in occupied Tskhinvali region.
Tbilisi hosts 8th ordinary session of Euronest Parliamentary Assembly
The 8th ordinary session of the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly - "Future Visions of the Eastern Partnership" has opened in Tbilisi.
Unrest in Mtskheta – Georgian dream activists attack opposition
During the opposition rally outside Mtskheta City Hall, supporters of the opposition and the Georgian Dream clashed with each other several times.
Surrounded Parliament and demonstrators – Police distracted protesters from picketing parliament in Tbilisi
Police had been blocking entrances to the parliament with metal structures since morning. Patrol Police Chief Vazha Siradze said the metal barricades have been installed due to security reasons.
Riot police used water cannons to disperse protesters in front of Parliament
The riot police used water cannons against the protesters gathered in front of the Parliament building in Tbilisi.
Parliament picket planned on November 26
Picketing is certainly not the best solution. Like what is happening in the streets is not good,
How to deal with Russia’s Hybrid Warfare?
How to deal with Russia’s Hybrid Warfare?
Riot police started to disperse protesters near the Georgian Parliament
Riot police appeared on Chitadze Street in the vicinity of the Government’s Administration building. They were brought by yellow buses there.
Georgian parliament picketed, demonstrations still going on
Building of the Georgian parliament is picketed, every entrance is blocked by the protesters and MPs cannot enter the building.
Disappointment over failure about constitutional amendment in the US, PACE
The Parliament has rejected the bill on constitutional amendments relating to the electoral system yesterday.
Georgian Parliament did not support transition to the proportional electoral system
The Parliament has rejected the bill on constitutional amendments relating to the electoral system in the first reading.
Interview with the US Charge d'Affairs Elizabeth Rood
Ministry of Defence of Georgia hosts the 13th annual Georgia Defence and Security Conference (GDSC) 2019 in Batumi, Hotel Hilton.
Adam Kinzinger speaks about bipartisan support to Georgia at GDSC
Republicans and Democrats disagree in many things but we are united when it has to do with Georgia,
Georgia Defence and Security Conference opened in Batumi
Georgia is hosting the 13th Georgia Defence and Security Conference (GDSC) in Batumi on Wednesday.
German ambassador to Georgia calls for Tskhinvali and Moscow to learn the lessons of the Berlin Wall
It would be good for those in charge in Tskhinvali and Moscow to learn the lessons of the Berlin Wall,
Bidzina Ivanishvili is ready to sell Panorama Tbilisi project
I am ready to hand over the project to interested businessmen at any stage,
US House of Representatives passes bipartisan Georgia Support Act
The United States House of Representatives has passed the bipartisan Georgia Support Act,
Georgian MFA concerned over “illegal process of borderization”
The Georgian Foreign Ministry expressed concern over the renewed illegal process of installing artificial barriers and barbed wire fences at the occupation line in the village of Atotsi, Kareli Municipality.
German President arrives in Tbilisi, welcomes dialogue between Georgian, Russian FMs
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier welcomes resumption of dialogue between Georgia and Russia at the level of Foreign Ministers.
Rose Gottemoeller visits Georgia
This visit is an opportunity to deepen and strengthen our cooperation with Georgia even further.
Georgia needs to find peace to evolve, former Swiss ambassador says
One year before the elections the former Swiss ambassador Lukas Beglinger is sure that the country will soon face big changes.
Georgian MP slaps colleague, an argument erupts in the Parliament
Eka Beselia, the lawmaker who left the Georgian Dream party, hit majority MP Vano Zardiashvili at the sitting of the Legal Issues Committee.
Georgia will use all available means to rise up to the new Russian challenge, says Foreign Ministry Spokesperson
Georgia will use all available means to give a proper assessment and to stop Russia doing such things, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Vladimir Konstantinid said
Swiss State Secretary: “Georgia is safe, we do not grant asylum”
2500 Georgians have sought asylum in Switzerland since 2016. Not one request has been granted. Now Switzerland wants Georgia to tackle irregular migration.
"Georgia has a long way to go in Tourism"
Because of the booming tourism industries, the Georgian government starts to implement regulations. “But this happens not fast enough, not efficient enough and not rigorous enough”, says Stefan Meister from the Heinrich Böll Stiftung.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
08.12.2019
09.12.2019
USD
1
USD
2.9466
2.9466
EUR
1
EUR
3.2690
3.2690
GBP
1
GBP
3.8683
3.8683
RUB
100
RUB
4.6218
4.6218
Other Stories
On 26 May, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, joined celebrations in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi
Violation of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by Assad regime has been strictly criticized
Exactly one year ago, Georgia was granted visa-free travel with the European Union.
Georgia’s ex-president president Mikheil Saakashvili's supporters managed to free detained Mikheil Saakashvili in the center of Kiev.
The US Ambassador to Georgia Ian Kelly congratulates Georgia on Independence Day.
The regulations on the introduction of visa-free travel for citizens of Georgia have been officially signed in Brussels.
The entire Georgia is involved in Secret Santa game, which means that people are sending gifts to each other secretly
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia is taking part in NATO Ministerial underway in Brussels, Belgium.
A special squad has been mobilized at the 48th polling station in Marneuli, Kvemo Kartli region.
Two politicians in Georgia have come to blows during a live TV debate ahead of the country’s parliamentary elections, Euronews reports.
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
2.9466
EUR
1
EUR
3.2690
GBP
1
GBP
3.8683
RUB
100
RUB
4.6218
December 2019
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31