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Russia Asks France To Extradite Tycoon Who Had Ties With Kremlin

Sergei Pugachyov in September 2015

Russia has asked France to extradite Sergei Pugachyov, a fugitive banker and former lawmaker who once had close ties to the Kremlin.

Russian Prosecutor-General's Office spokesman Aleksandr Kurennoi said on March 2 that Pugachyov was wanted on charges of embezzlement and abuse of power.

Pugachyov, a former campaign adviser to Presidents Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin, was once one of Russia's richest men and was dubbed the Kremlin's "cashier."

He fled Russia for Britain in 2011 amid allegations from the Russian authorities that he embezzled funds from a bank he controlled.

Pugachyov moved to France in 2015.

The 54-year-old Pugachyov claims he is the victim of a government effort to seize his business empire.

Based on reporting by Interfax and TASS