By Jonny Tickle and Bryan MacDonald
Billionaire Oleg Deripaska has poured chilly water on American insinuations that he washed funds on behalf of President Vladimir Putin and different senior Russian officers.
According to Britain’s Financial Times (FT), Deripaska known as the accusations “unsupported” and “just guesses, rumors and balderdash,” including that if somebody introduced “something like this to a court in London … the judge would just tell them: ‘Please get lost.’”
On Friday, a letter written by the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) was printed by the FT, detailing the unclassified justifications of why the tycoon was sanctioned. The letter signifies six causes, all of which embody the phrase “reportedly” or “reported,” and supply no supply or proof.
In April 2018, the US imposed penalties on an inventory of Russian oligarchs and high officers who have been accused of “malign activity around the globe.” This new sanctions listing included Deripaska, who based RUSAL – as soon as the world’s largest aluminum firm.
Almost one 12 months later, in March 2019, he sued OFAC in court docket, forcing the US Treasury Department to offer causes for its resolution to impose sanctions.
Deripaska is accused by the OFAC of financing “projects on behalf of President Vladimir Putin and senior Russian officials,” in addition to canceling an IPO to “hide Russian President Vladimir Putin’s money laundering.” In addition, he’s alleged to have been “holding assets and laundering funds” on behalf of Putin, and sending the president cash for private use, disguised as “business activity.”
Writing on his Telegram account, Deripaska added: “What cash? He didn’t even belief me for ten minutes with a pen.” He was referring to a 2009 incident when Putin publicly humiliated the businessman after staff within the Leningrad area accused him of leaving their wages unpaid.
Back then an indignant Putin famously lent a pen to the businessman, after which sternly demanded he return it.
The US additionally claims that Deripaska made an $800 million funding into initiatives across the 2014 Sochi Olympics, alleging that Russian oligarchs have been “compelled” to take action by then-Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Among different investments within the subtropical metropolis, he owns the five-star Rodina resort the place rooms, even within the low season, vary in worth from $450-$2,800.
The letter states that it comprises solely “releasable” and “non-privileged” info.
The president’s spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, was quoted by the FT as saying, “That’s not true. As simple as that.”