Defendants General Director of the Scientific and Production Association. S. A. Lavochkin Vladimir Kolmykov and the former head of the Rocket and Space Corporation (RKK) Energia Vladimir Solntsev did not cause damage to the country for 662 million rubles. when supplying liquid-propellant rocket engines RD-180 to the United States, a representative of the state corporation Roscosmos told Vedomosti.
Earlier, the Kommersant newspaper, citing its sources, reported the details of the charges against the heads of enterprises in the rocket and space industry. According to the publication, it follows from the materials of the criminal case that in March 2015, Vladimir Kolmykov, being the executive director of NPO Energomash, under pressure from Vladimir Solntsev, who previously held this position, signed amendments to the license agreement with RD-Amros (RD Amross LLC ).
The agreement was signed at the end of September 2002 under a contract for the supply of RD-180 liquid-propellant rocket engines for their installation on American Atlas launch vehicles. The deal was concluded on unfavorable terms for Russia and NPO Energomash, Kommersant writes, referring to these investigations. According to this information, RD-Amros, which was a joint venture between NPO Energomash and the American company Pratt & Whitney, from 2022 was transferred the right to use patents and technical documentation of rocket engines for their production, repair, testing, technical support and use in the USA.
According to investigators, the conclusion of such an agreement should have been on a reimbursable basis. But, as the investigators considered, the changes made to the license agreement and signed by Kolmykov could cause damage in the amount of 662,279,474 million rubles. Kolmykov and Solntsev are accused of abuse of power, which entailed grave consequences (part 2 of article 201 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). If convicted, Kolmykov faces up to five years, and Solntsev – up to seven and a half years.
In the near future, a court session is planned, where the final decision on the criminal case against Kolmykov and Solntsev should be made, the representative of Roskosmos noted. According to him, the investigation was carried out in a closed format, which implies non-disclosure of information and “even criminal liability for disclosing its details.”
“In this regard, Roskosmos cannot provide a detailed commentary, but reports that there is a factual base that diverges from the line of the state prosecution in the criminal case against Kolmykov and Solntsev,” a representative of the state corporation says. According to a representative of Roskosmos, the damage in the amount of more than 662 million rubles, indicated in the Kommersant article with reference to the accusation that the changes to the license agreement allegedly entailed, “never occurred.” According to him, publications in the run-up to the court session “can be seen as an attempt to put pressure on the court.”
The case of Kolmykov and Solntsev is being considered in the Khimki City Court. In December, the judge listened to the arguments of the parties and retired to the deliberation room to deliver a verdict, according to the case card on the court’s website.
The industry is actively working together with the Prosecutor General’s Office of Russia to prevent crime, continued the interlocutor of Vedomosti in Roskosmos. In particular, the state corporation prepared for transfer to the prosecutor’s office information on the misappropriation of intellectual property related to the equipment and activities of Turbonasos JSC. Roskosmos is determined to continue constructive interaction with law enforcement agencies, and is also interested in an objective consideration by the courts of criminal cases, including the affected trial. “But for Roskosmos, it is not the number of criminal cases and convictions that matters, but the quality of checks and impartiality in issuing court verdicts,” the Roskosmos representative emphasized.
On behalf of the government, Roscosmos developed a roadmap and identified responsible employees for interaction with supervisory and law enforcement agencies, he added. An interdepartmental meeting is being prepared with representatives of the Prosecutor General’s Office, where it is planned to discuss further work, taking into account the specifics of the creation of rocket and space technology, as well as countering external challenges and threats to the country’s space sovereignty, he summed up.