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Kremlin hits back at 'golden pistols' corruption claim
MOSCOW - Russia’s deputy prime minister on Saturday demanded an apology from protest leader and top Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny after he alleged massive corruption in an arms procurement deal.
The chief critic of President Vladimir Putin claimed Friday in his corruption-busting blog that the defence ministry had announced a tender to buy Glock pistols at a price he called four times the market rate.
The ministry procurement agency was set to buy “ordinary pistols for the price of gold ones,” he wrote.
Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who oversees the defence sector, on Saturday demanded an apology.
He denied the allegations, writing on his official Twitter account that: “Navalny will have to apologise.”
Rogozin’s response was a rare acknowledgement by the government of the existence of Navalny, who cemented his reputation by speaking at protest rallies against Putin’s return to the Kremlin. - AFP