One of Russia’s top finance officials has been arrested on charges of embezzling public money. Sergei Storchak, a deputy finance minister, was responsible for managing Russian debt accumulated during the Soviet era. He is also in charge of an oil fund worth around 100 billion euros.
Storchak was arrested outside the finance ministry in Moscow. He is a close associate of his influential boss, the Russian finance minister Alexei Kudrin, who is in turn a long-term ally of President Vladimir Putin. The arrest comes after a crackdown on corruption announced by prime minister Victor Zubkov and amid a surge of pre-election political activity.