Agriculture Minister of Russia (2009 - 2012)
SRKYNNIK, Elena Borisovna (b. 1961) graduated from the Chelyabinsk Medical Institute in 1986. In 1992, Elena Skrynnik graduated from the Academy of National Economy under the Government of the Russian Federation, after which she interned in France and Germany as a leasing specialist. In 1994, she established the interregional company Medlizing, collaborating with the Russian Ministry of Health in the procurement of foreign medical equipment. Since 1997, Skrynnik has led the Russian Association of Leasing Companies, and since 1998, he has been the head of the expert council on leasing at the Federation Council. In 2000, she became a Member of the Board of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs.
From December 2001 to April 2009, she was the General Director of the Agro-Industrial Leasing Company (Rosagroleasing). The company was suspected of corruption during the presidency of Boris Yeltsin. In 2012, the Accounts Chamber noted that there was a “lack of data and information on the total volumes of agricultural machinery, equipment and breeding animals purchased and leased by Rosagroleasing.” In November 2008, Skrynnik became a member of the Supreme Council of the ruling party, United Russia. From March 12, 2009, to May 21, 2012, Elena Skrynnik held the post of Minister of Agriculture of the Russian Federation. After her resignation in the fall of 2012, the investigative bodies tried to interrogate Skrynnik over a case of corruption in Rosagroleasing, but she did not appear for interrogation, explaining this by staying in France at the time.
During the years of the leadership of Skrynnik in the Russian Ministry of Agriculture and some time after her resignation, the official Kremlin propaganda highly appreciated her activities in this post, assuring that in those years an uninterrupted system of providing fuel and lubricants for agricultural machinery was created. There was only one problem: the company responsible for this, founded by Skrynnik, was state-owned, though almost all of Russia's agriculture is private. This has created opportunities for corruption.
However, shortly after Skrynnik’s resignation, it became clear that even from an official point of view, her Ministry has become a hotbed of corruption. On November 27, 2012, Rossiya-1 released a 25-minute investigative documentary film “Those in Power.” In it, Skrynnik was called an accomplice in the embezzlement of 39 billion rubles from the state budget. The authors of the film noted that the billions of rubles allocated by the state, but not received by farmers, ended up on the accounts of the British company Bryce-Becker, founded by Skrynnik, as well as on the accounts of the AgroEuroSoyuz company, founded by her brother Leonid Novitsky.
Like all the top officials of the Putin regime, Elena Skrynnik never lived in poverty, and her income, even officially declared, significantly exceeded her ministerial salaries. So, according to her official tax return in 2008, her income amounted to 10.735.000 rubles in 2009 - 10.835.000 rubles, and in 2010 - 7.384.000 rubles, not including real estate and cars. At the same time, her overseas property (namely, a house in France), the presence of which she ultimately admitted, was not included in her declaration. Moreover, she is suspected of owning the elite La Prairie clinic on the shores of Lake Geneva in Switzerland, while being a Russian government official.
In August 2017, the Swiss prosecutor's office dismissed the case against Skrynnik about money laundering and lifted the arrest from her local bank accounts, which at that time amounted to 70 million Swiss francs. Most likely, the case was dismissed due to the lack of cooperation on the part of the Russian investigating authorities in the collection of facts and, as it is supposed to be in Western justice system, strict evidence of the corrupt activities of the Russian ex-official. Apparently, an objective trial of the activities of Skrynnik not only in Russia but also in any other country is possible only after the fall of the Putin regime in Russia.
- numerous facts of corruption both in the Rosagroleasing and at the post of Minister of Agriculture of the Russian Federation;
- the fact that she is a member of the leadership of the ruling party of the Putin regime, United Russia, thus supporting the Kremlin’s criminal policy;
- anti-market measures in the agricultural field, including participation in politically motivated protectionism directed against the Western trading partners of the Russian Federation.