The presidium of the Russian Supreme Court on 23 January announced that Lebedev, the former Yukos-associated business leader, will be released from the prison in Velsk, a town located 550 km south of Arkhangelsk City. The decision came after President Vladimir Putin on the 20th December 2013 pardoned his close associate Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
According to Interfax, Lebedev on 24 January walked out of the prison in Velsk as a free man.
Platon Lebedev was in 2006 sentenced to nine years of jail for alleged embezzlement and money laundering. Lebedev was leader of the Menatep Group, a financial corporation working closely with Khodorkovsky’s Yukos. In a second trial, the prison sentence was in 2010 extended with an additional four years of jail.
Both Lebedev and Khodorkovsky have spent the last years in the Barents Region, the former in Arkhangelsk Oblast and the latter in the Republic of Karelia.
As previously reported, the Yukos case also has a connection with Murmansk Oblast, as Menatep in 1994 acquired a 20 percent stake in state-owned Apatit, a major regional fertilizer producer. This deal became a centerpiece in the cases against both Khodorkovsky and Lebedev. According to state prosecutors, the stake was acquired illegally at a price far below the market value. It was formally returned to the statein 2009 and later came under control of Andrey Guriev and his Phosagro company.
Russia’s only aircraft carrier, the Northern Fleet’s “Admiral Kuznetsov”, has finished repairs and is ready to leave the port of Murmansk. According to a Russian news agency, the vessel will sail to Syria.
A century and a half ago, Norway was home to roughly three thousand brown bears, the majority of bears in all of Scandinavia. By 1930, the bears were virtually extinct. Decades of aggressive management tactics and bounties had wiped out one of the area’s most iconic species.
Microplastics, the tiny plastic particles that are accumulating in marine waters and big lakes around the world, are now showing up in the Arctic waters south and southwest of Svalbard, Norway, a new study says.
REYKJAVIK: The climatic changes taking place in the Arctic are a call to action for the world. We must answer with more international cooperation and more research, says Tore Hattrem, State Secretary of Norway’s Foreign Ministry.
“Partnership should and shall shape the development of the Arctic, therefore cooperation is the starting point for our Arctic policy,” Vladimir Barbin, Senior Arctic Official and representative to the Arctic Council, said at the Arctic Circle 2015 assembly.
August 9th, the Barents Region celebrated the UN International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. The day was commemorated in several parts of the region, including Karasjok in Northern Norway and Teriberka in Northwestern Russia.
Norway’s Foreign Minister Børge Brende has asked Russia for an explanation to the high number of asylum seekers coming to Norway via Russia. Syrian refugees that have lived in Russia for a long time, will be stopped on the border and sent back.