15 companies involved in the construction of the Crimean Bridge are complaining that they have not been paid their contractual dues. Cumulatively they are owed nearly half a billion rubles (around $16 million), Radio Liberty reports.
Small enterprises from Russia’s Krasnodar Krai have been affected. They have not been paid by the subcontractor, Deco, which signed the primary contract with SGM-Most, a company owned by Vladimir Putin’s friend Arkady Rotenberg.
According to public court records, Deco is having financial difficulties, and has already changed directors several times.
The directors of the affected companies say that, due to the construction deadline, they were forced to invest their own or borrowed funds. Now these companies are on the verge of ceasing to exist.
Rotenberg has mentioned the financing problems, but the problem remains.
“Through Mosoblbank the funds are allocated to the work we have done, to the delivery of the goods, that is, the specific money couldn’t have gone anywhere other than… We have submitted documents, we should have been paid. Half a year ago they stopped paying us. The total debt is more than 400 million rubles. Around 35-40 companies have gotten ‘knocked up’. As the matter came to an end, they decided to ditch people, they began bankrupting this company Deco, which has existed for 20 years and has 500 employees, according to the records, and a 14 billion ruble turnover. An extremely serious company with major assets. They are being bankrupted and taken out,” said Alexei Boretsky, one of the authors of a video message to Putin.
Deco is owned by a certain Albert Koshkin, who has acquired more than 105 billion rubles in government contracts over the last 5 years. Rotenberg’s company does not admit to owing Koshkin’s company anything, and in fact believes the opposite to be true – that Deco owes it money.