The Russian oligarch hoped to turn Belarus into an off-shore zone.
The Forbes magazine writes about the relations between Lukashenka and Boris Berezovskiy.
“The latest political project on “improving the country’s image” was carried out by the businessman in Belarus. Starting from 2008 lord Timothy Bell and his company Bell Pottinger Group were dealing with the improvement of the country’s image in the West. Main achievements of Bell’s are the meeting of Lukashenka with the Pope and invitation of Lukashenka to a EU summit, which had been unimaginable before. In an interview to Russia Today in March 2013 Lukashenka confessed that it was Berezovskiy who recommended Bell to him. According to him, Belarus did not pay lord Bell. It is logical, since Bell received money from Berezovskiy. According to the data of the source from the project’s organizational committee, $60 million were spent on Belarus.
Belarus was made open to Berezovskiy, however Russian Prosecutor General’s office did not send a request – Russia avoided confrontation with Lukashenka. From a plane Berezovskiy would be met by a car with a flasher and he would go to a residence in Radashkovichy near Minsk, accompanied by security. “He built a village for himself and enjoyed, - Berezovskiy’s friend tells. – Birches, Russian women, fresh ice-cream, brown bread… He felt himself back home”.
Berezovskiy himself hoped for a lot. “He had huge plans. He wanted to make Belarus an off-shore zone, built casinos there etc.”, - one of the runaway businessman’s close friends tells. But one of the paragraphs of the agreement with Belarus was the attraction of investors. Of course, Berezovskiy did not attract investors. That is why the contract with Bell was shortly cancelled, and after the mass protests in Belarus in December 2010 and Lukashenka’s tough reaction to them Europe turned away from Minsk again. And Minsk in its turn turned away from Berezovskiy. In March 2011 all the oligarch’s belongings were taken out of Minsk, the representations were closed”, - the magazine reports.
The out of favor Russian oligarch, who received a political asylum in Great Britain, was found dead on 23 March in the bathroom of his house in Ascot, Berkshire country.
British media reported that after losing the trial to Roman Abramovich in August last year he experienced financial problems and was in a depressed condition. However, Berezovskiy’s friends do not rule out that he could be killed.
Russian and Belarusian media repeatedly reported of connections between Lukashenka and Berezovskiy and the oligarch’s business interests in Belarus.
It was highlighted that the oligarch visited Belarus despite being wanted in Russia.