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Putin Says Privatization Plans On Track Despite Minister's Arrest

Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) listens to Economy Minister Aleksei Ulyukayev ahead of a meeting with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in Istanbul, Turkey, on October 10.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said a criminal case against the country's former economic-development minister has no impact on privatization plans.

Aleksei Ulyukayev was arrested last week on charges of taking a $2 million bribe for facilitating state-owned oil giant Rosneft's takeover of another state-held oil company, Bashneft.

Such actions of law enforcers "only strengthen the business climate in Russia," Putin said on November 20 after the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Peru.

All should know that "the law will be applied to everyone equally," he added.

The "regrettable" detention of Ulyukayev "has not affected my attitude to government in general," Putin insisted, adding that he planned to move forward with the privatization of state assets.

Ulyukayev has overseen the massive privatization of state companies, capped by Bashneft's sale to Rosneft last month.

Based on reporting by Reuters, Interfax, and Bloomberg