Why did Russia’s top businessmen meet Putin on the day of the invasion, why? | today’s news
Putin was quoted as telling the business group that the invasion was a “necessary measure”.
Photo: Yuri Kochetkov
On February 24, the day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin met with some of the country’s wealthiest businessmen, according to Washington Post. Among these guests, 14 billionaires are named who have the main industries of the country: oil and gas, banking and chemical products.
Putin told the business group that the invasion was a “necessary measure”, warning of the possibility of a wave of sanctions against Russia after the attack on Ukraine. mail.
However, despite their ties to Putin and their position within Russia, many of them They have been moving their wealth out of the country for yearsas the documents show, ”the publication stated. More than half of the attendees were directly connected, or through a relative, with offshore companies that handled transactions worth hundreds of millions of dollars, made financial investments or formed family credits.
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“At least 21 participants in this Kremlin meeting, or their relatives, own property in the British Virgin Islands, Cyprus or other island jurisdictions known for their tax advantages, according to documents previously provided to the Kremlin. International Consortium of Investigative Journalists‘, says the article mail. This time, the records the publication is talking about span from 2007 to 2018.
pandora leaves It is an investigation involving hundreds of journalists from around the world that uncovers financial secrets that politicians, artists, writers and businessmen have kept for years in tax-advantaged jurisdictions.
- As we explained in This articleHaving a corporation in an offshore jurisdiction or tax haven is not necessarily a crime. However, the high level of secrecy and tax advantages in these areas has allowed some clients, many of whom are millionaires, to evade taxes in their countries, or launder or hide money.
Why is the Post key published?
Journalists explain that “the The proliferation of foreign holdings among those invited by Putin reflects the extent to which businessmen at the top of the Russian economy have funneled wealth out of the country and become dependent on secret deals that make it difficult to trace transactions.
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Here’s another major issue: how some businessmen manage to evade Western sanctions after the invasion. Post journalists explain: “Although it was set up years ago for other purposes, offshore companies can also thwart recent economic sanctions adopted by the West.”
- 📃 One fact: So far, the European Union is working on a sixth sanctions package that includes a timetable for phasing out Russian oil imports and has warned its member states to prepare to end Russian gas supplies. “And there will be more Russian banks coming out of Swift,” said the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, without mentioning which new banks should affect the financial sector.
And although the Russian president has publicly linked the use of offshore companies to tax evasion, former CIA analyst Julia Friedlander explained to the newspaper that “Putin allows his inner circle to take advantage of the financial resources of state companies and the state itself.. the money often ends up in the outside “.
Who attended the meeting?
Here are some of the attendees at that Kremlin meeting, whose companies appear in the Pandora Papers:
- Vagit Alekperov, former head of Lukoil: “Alekperov, who resigned from the company last month after it was subjected to British sanctions, owns offshore companies that have produced hundreds of millions of dollars in investments and loans, according to the documents,” the US documents said. Newspaper.
- Andrey Akimov, head of the third largest bank in Russia, Gazprombank: he owned at least eight companies formed in the British Virgin Islands.
- The Pandora papers show that Hermann Gref, head of Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank: “controls an external credit with companies intertwined in it, with assets totaling more than $54 million.”
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