Photo: Mikhail Metzel/TASS
Russia’s Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev has been accused of taking a bribe to endorse a state takeover, the BBC reports.
Russia’s main anti-corruption body, the Investigative Committee (SK), said he received a payment of $2m.
Mr Ulyukayev is the highest-ranking Russian official held since the 1991 coup attempt in what was then the USSR.
The SK said he had “threatened” to create obstacles for Rosneft’s operations when it took a 50% stake in another state oil company, Bashneft.
According to SK spokeswoman Svetlana Petrenko, “Ulyukayev was caught red-handed”, receiving a $2m bribe on 14 November for giving a favourable assessment of the Rosneft deal.
The apparent sting operation came after months of electronic surveillance, including phone-tapping, officials said.
The arrest was big news on Russia’s state-run TV channels, under the headline “Battle against corruption”.