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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Putin Orders Probe of Dam Repairs

RIA-Novosti / ReutersPutin presenting an award to an Emergency Situations Ministry official during a government meeting Monday.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Monday ordered an investigation into whether poor repairs caused last month’s dam disaster and warned that any repairs carried out by companies affiliated with RusHydro, which owns the dam, would be considered “criminal.”

RusHydro and its management own two companies that carry out repairs at the Sayano-Shushenskaya hydroelectric power station in the Khakasia republic, Vedomosti reported Monday.

Putin, speaking at a government meeting, said investigators must determine whether unsatisfactory repairs caused the Aug. 17 flood at the plant that killed 75 workers and who was responsible for any repairs.

Putin said it would be “irresponsible and criminal” to “trust” repairs at the dam to companies affiliated with Rus- Hydro, Interfax reported.

Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin said Thursday that repairs that were under way when the dam was flooded last month were being carried out by a fraudulently created firm, Gidroenergoremont, controlled by officials at the power station.

The general contractor for the current construction of a shore spillway for the dam is United Energy and Construction Corporation, which is co-owned by a member of RusHydro’s board of directors, Alexander Toloshinov, Vedomosti reported, citing a source close to RusHydro.

A subcontractor for the construction of the shore spillway is Sayangidrospetsstroi LTD, in which a controlling stake is owned by Deputy Economic Development Minister Stansislav Voskresensky and his father, Sergei Voskresensky, who is director general of Lengidroproyekt, a subsidiary of RusHydro, Vedomosti said, citing no one.

The rest of Sayangidrospetsstroi’s shares belong to the workers at the Sayano-Shushenskaya station, Sergei Voskresensky told Vedomosti.

Putin, visiting the dam in August, after the disaster, banned “affiliated structures” owned and managed by RusHydro officials from taking part in repairs of the dam, his spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Vedomosti.

The Federation Council passed a resolution Monday in support of a State Duma initiative to form a parliamentary investigative commission into the disaster. The commission, which was to start work Monday, will, among other things, draft a forecast of how electricity prices will change in the Siberian Federal District following the disaster, Federation Council Senator Sergei Shatirov said, Interfax reported.