MOSCOW, September 29 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Interior Ministry will soon buy a gilded bed for 4.26 million rubles ($141,000) for guest accommodation for foreign officials, a Russian business daily reported on Tuesday.
According to Vedomosti, the Interior Ministry in August placed bids for three lots of furniture worth 24.4 million rubles ($808,000) to be paid in federal funds at zakupki.gov.ru. One of the lots included a hand-carved cherry wood bed with a gilded headboard and footboard.
Of three potential suppliers, the Ofisny Komfort (Office Comfort) company offered the lowest price of 4.26 million rubles, which was below the starting price for the bed for Russian police.
Maj.-Gen. Valery Gribakin, chief of the Interior Ministry's PR department, explained the furniture was meant for the economic security department headquarters and the ministry's reception house in Moscow's Serebryany Bor, a protected forest zone on the Moskva River.
"As regards law, everything has evidently been faultless," Mikhail Starshinov, a member of the State Duma security committee, told Vedomosti.
Starshinov, who earlier promised to file a parliamentary inquiry into the purchase, said the question of why such posh furniture would be needed remained unanswered, but MPs have not so far reacted. The parliamentarian proposed waiting until the Audit Chamber has checked the Interior Ministry's purchases.