Sunday, 27 September 2020

ČRo: Deripaska's firm in charge of Czech visas in Belarus

13 February 2017

Prague, Feb 10 (CTK) - A firm associated with Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, a close ally and friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin, is in charge of the visa agenda for the Czech Republic in Belarus, Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek (Social Democrats, CSSD) told Czech Radio (CRo) on Friday.

Zaoralek said there were no reasons to cancel the tender.

Zaoralek confirmed that he knew about the link between Deripaska and a firm from Cyprus that deals with the Czech visa agenda in Belarus.

"If we put up a tender, we have to respect its results," Zaoralek said.

"If we were to cancel such a tender, we would have to have the arguments for it and there would have to be the interest of the country in question (Belarus) that would feel itself that this jeopardises the security of its citizens," he added.

Zaoralek said the outsourcing was quite common.

"We do this outsourcing because a crushing majority of countries do it, too. We have no staff for this," he added.

Zaoralek said it would be more expensive if the state had to employ its own staff for the work.

In addition, this would mean a bigger security risk if all the systems were interconnected by their personnel, he added.

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