Usmanov allegations repeated in European Parliament

The allegations that Craig Murray made against Alisher Usmanov (see here for backstory) have been repeated in the European Parliament by Tom Wise MEP. This means they are now covered by parliamentary privilege and can be repeated by anyone. Way to go, Schillings.

You can hear the allegations on, or download the MP3 file.

Alternately, here is a transcript I’ve made of Wise’s speech:

Madam Chairman, Mr Commissioner,

when the EU talks of a common foreign policy you need to be very aware of exactly who you propose to do business with. President Putin is on record as [unclear] should be under no illusions if it wants to buy gas it has to deal with the Russian state. Gazprom is not a private company, it is a state-controlled tool of Russian foreign policy, one moreover in the hands of President Putin and allegedly organised crime.

Take for example Alisher Usmanov. This gentleman, the son of a Communist apparatchik, is chairman of Gazprom inside Russia. He is the man we would be doing business with. He is the man who cuts off gas supplies if client states dare to question Gazprom’s demands.

Allegedly a gangster and racketeer, he served a six year jail sentence in the Soviet Union in the 1980s, his eventual pardon coming at the behest of Usbek mafia chief and heroin overlord Gafur Rachimov, described as Usmanov’s mentor.

Usmanov bought the newspaper Kommersant; 3 months later the journalist Ivan Safranov, a critic of the Putin regime who just weeks earlier had been vigorously interrogated by the FSB — as the KGB is now called — mysteriously fell to his death from his apartment window, still clutching a recently purchased [unclear]. According to Craig Murray, the former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, it was Usmanov who ordered the cutting-off of supplies to Georgia earlier this year. Please take note [unclear] the construction of a pipeline to the EU over Georgian territory

These are the people you want to do business with? These are the people you are moulding your foreign policy on energy around? Commisioner, good luck, you’ll need it.

(via The Wardman Wire, England Expects, Mr Eugenides, Bloggerheads; this article also posted on Amused Cynicism)

  1. John B said:

    Yay, now we’re doing something to justify our status as the 20th-most-important non-aligned blog!

  2. Spoken under parliamentary privilege. How courageous! How pathetic!

    I have offered Murray ‘et al’ a solution to the problem that no newspaper seems prepared to publish their claims (I wonder why?) which is that they should publish their own pamphlets and stand outside Usmanov’s home and office and distribute them to passers by. That would get them their day in court – or not – in which case we can all draw our conclusions. Let them put up, or shut up!

  3. To David Duff,

    Craig Murray has already published a book detailing the allegations against Usmanov. Usmanov has refused to sue him for libel, no doubt on the grounds that he would lose.

    If you are so keen to take the Usmanov/Karimov side on this issue I suggest you go and live in Uzbekistan. I promise I will write a protest letter on your behalf when the Uzbek government (you know, Usmanov’s chum Karimov) has you boiled alive.

  4. I have no desire to live in Uzbekistan, a place which I would have difficulty finding on a map, and no desire either to support or denigrate Mr. Usmanov about whom I know next to nothing, except that he comes from that part of the world in which the men sport luxuriant moustaches and fail to shave the rest of their faces as often as good taste demands they should. They also, according to tittle-tattle, have a habit of doing beastly things to each other, a practice about which I care very little provided they confine it to their own, no doubt, beautiful Motherland, after all, one would not wish to see that sort of thing in the confines of South Kensington, er, outside of the premises of ‘Miss Whiplash, Disciplinarian to the Gentry’. After all, everything in its place and a place for everything!

    What I do care about is stupid-beyond-belief bloggers printing any old thing that comes to mind and thus closing down whole swathes of Blogdom.

  5. Mr Murray is not “stupid beyond belief” — if he was, he wouldn’t have been made Her Majesty’s ambassador to Uzbekistan.

  6. I don’t quite know how to break this news to you gently, Mr. Hunt, so please brace yourself for a shock – being “Her Majesty’s ambassador to Uzbekistan” is absolutely no guarantee of intelligence, rather the opposite, I’m afraid. The so-called ‘manadarins’ of the FO are, in my view, a bunch of twits who would have considerable difficulty getting drunk in a brewery!

    Quite properly you might well demand my proof. I give you her Majesty’s ex-Ambassador to Uzbekistan. ‘Nuff said, I think!

  7. MooMoo said:

    David Duff: Are you still here? Still saying any old thing that comes to mind and clogging up the Interwebnet Tubes?

  8. ‘Moomoo’, if you are a lady and claim that you know me from somewhere, I deny it. That man in the long raincoat was not me because at the time I was lunching with Her Majesty’s ambassador to Timbuctoo! More-over, I speak nothing but words of great wisdom and the fact that you categorise them thus merely confirms the truth concerning the futility of casting pearls before swine – er, not that I would ever call a lady a sow, mind.