A Russian diplomat who was killed by the state-controlled Interfax news agency on Tuesday was a former head of a Russian oil company, according to news reports.
The Associated Press reported that Andrei Lugovoi was killed in the eastern city of Stavropol in the Black Sea resort of Krasnodar.
The agency said Lugovoie was the deputy president of Russia’s state-owned oil giant Rosneft.
He was a longtime political aide to former President Vladimir Putin.
Lugovoies family has denied that he was working for the government, which has accused him of trying to undermine its control of Rosnefin.
Rosneftegaz’s chief of staff, Sergei Ryabkov, told Interfax that Lugovoiy was “an official in the company who had a close relationship with President Putin and had an interest in the energy sector and in development.”
He said Lugovsky had worked at Rosnefa on projects involving the exploration of the Black and Baltic Seas.
Ryabkov said Lugovie had been under suspicion since 2014, when he was deputy prime minister.
He said the investigation had been opened in March 2018, but the investigation was not completed and Lugovoy had not been charged.
“We do not have information on whether he was arrested,” Ryabko said.
“All this is speculation.”
Ryabekov said the information was still being verified.
He did not say if Lugovo is a target of the probe, or if the probe is ongoing.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergei Kislyak both attended Lugovo’s funeral.
The Kremlin also confirmed the killing.
In an online post, Russian President Vladimir V. Putin described Lugovoich as “an honorable, loyal, honest and courageous diplomat.”
Putin also thanked Lugovoic for his service to Russia and said he will be remembered as a person of outstanding character.
Lugovoy said he would continue to fight the war against the West.
“I do not want to die here,” he said.
Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the killing was a tragic example of the state of affairs in Ukraine, where Lugovoik’s death comes at a time when Russia has increased its military presence in the region.
“The tragic death of Andrei Vladimirovich Lugovois a reminder of the dangerous and violent situation in Ukraine,” Zakharov said.
Lugovey, 54, was born in St. Petersburg, Russia.
He joined the Russian military in the 1990s, serving as a captain in the navy and then a member of parliament.
His career took off in the late 1990s when he became a political ally of former Russian President Boris Yeltsin.
The two became close friends.
During a visit to the United States in 2010, Lugovoitch was shown a photograph of Yeltsis daughter, Tatiana, with a Putin deputy, Sergei Ivanov, at the wedding of the couple’s daughter.
The couple also attended the wedding to the son of a former Russian ambassador to Ukraine.
Lugovsky worked in the Russian energy industry for more than a decade, earning more than $300,000 a year.
He is the nephew of Sergei Ivanovich, a Russian energy tycoon and a former deputy prime minster.
Lugohov was a key figure in Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was then a leader of the ruling United Russia party, said in a statement that Lugov’s death shows the dangerous situation in the Ukraine and called for a complete end to the aggression of Ukraine’s new leaders.
“Today, Russia and Ukraine are in an unprecedented situation, in which we face a dangerous escalation of aggression from the aggressors,” Putin said.
In his last public appearance before his death, Lugov died in Stavroprovsky, Russia, from natural causes.
In 2014, Lugovsky was elected to the Russian parliament and served as its chairman until his death in 2016.
Lugoych had been president of the Krasny Oktyabrskoye Komsomolets, Russia’s lower house of parliament, since March 2016.
The Komsomo-Otskomol, or Lower House of the Russian Federation, is the lower house in Russia.
The parliament’s work is controlled by the Kremlin.
It is the third lower house to be abolished since the country’s 2014 revolution.
The dissolution of the lower houses of Russia is a common occurrence.
The current leader of Russia, Vladimir Putin, is currently Russia’s leader.
He appointed Lugovoikh in 2014 after former President Dmitry Medvedev stepped down in favor of Putin.
He has said he was trying to keep Lugovoisk in power.
Lugomiy was appointed to the lower House of Parliament by Medvedeva in August 2015.
In a letter to Putin in February, Lug