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AKIPRESS.COM - Uzbekistan has rented Russian tycoon Alisher Usmanov’s private jet for President Shavkat Mirziyoyev’s overseas trips, Reuters said with reference to the Central Asian nation’s state airline.
Usmanov, a Russian billionaire of Uzbek origin who is a major shareholder in the Arsenal soccer club in Britain, has close ties to the Tashkent government, sources told Reuters last year.
Last month Mirziyoyev appeared to have used Usmanov’s Airbus to attend the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
This month, according to plane-tracking website Flightradar24, Usmanov’s plane flew between Tashkent and Sochi on the dates that Mirziyoyev attended a meeting of ex-Soviet leaders in the Russian resort city.
State airline Uzbekistan Airways said on Saturday it had been tasked with renting a jet for Mirziyoyev’s long-distance trips and chose Usmanov’s plane, which had been offered by an intermediary, GlobalJet.
Uzbekistan Airways said it was paying market prices for renting the jet, but did not disclose any figures.
Mirziyiyev’s predecessor Islam Karimov, who died in September 2016 after running the nation of 32 million for 27 years, had used a special government-owned Boeing.