How business mixes with politics in Narva

28.06.2012, 14:00

Narva city councillor Feodor Ovsjannikov is perhaps the best example how closely are business and political interests in Narva interlinked.

Ovsjannikov who is Centre Party member is suspected of peddling influence and fraud and, among others, spent six months in custody until January 2012.

Despite suspicions that he has helped certain local construction companies win public tenders, Ovsjannikov remains a memebr of the city government's public procurement committee.

One of the companies that enjoyed preferred treatment with Ovsjannikov was Apest Grupp whose owner Gennadi Fanfora was this month found guilty of entering into agreements that abuse competition.

According to the court, Fanfora was closely connected with Ovsjannikov, chairman of city council's financial committee who made sure that bidders for public tenders were able to win contracts only if they paid about 10 percent of the tender value to companies linked to Fanfora.

Despite of such public accusations, Ovsjannikov remains member of the city council's public tender committee.

Among others, Ovsjannikov is member of the supervisory board of Narva Haigla, a municipal hospital and earns over 300 euros a month for the position.

Fanfora's construction company itself has won a significant amount of public tenders in Narva.

Although the city's treasury department has recommended to recall Ovsjannikov from the tender committee, the committee rejected the proposal because Ovsjannikov has not been convicted.

Earlier members of the municipal public tender committee include deputy mayor Sofja Homjakova and former acting head of the municipal enterprise board Arkadi Nikolajev who resigned both over corruption suspicion. Moreover, former deputy mayor Andrei Filippov resigned also from the committee because he is being suspected of corruption and activities restricting competition.