The Russian aluminum tycoon Oleg Deripaska and the author of the epoch-making “Munich speech” of Putin, Sergei Prikhodko, became the objects of the next investigation of the Fund for Fighting Corruption Sergei Navalny.
The Russian figure in opposition argues that a civil servant and a high official of the Russian government Prikhodko is dependent on Deripaska for his luxurious lifestyle. Control over the specific costs of the official allows Deripaska to influence the formation of Russian foreign policy and subordinate it to the needs and desires of the billionaire.
The Russian trace in the American elections
One of the needs of the Russian tycoon is the lawsuit against American political technologist Paul Manafort by Deripaska.
As it turned out, he took and did not return to Deripaska a large sum of money in 2007-2014. Why the oligarch remained silent for many years and only now remembered that the American allegedly took him in debt and did not return about $ 40 million remains a big mystery.
Judgment with Manafort Deripaska began immediately after Manafort became a suspect in the investigation of federal special prosecutor Robert Mueller in the fall of 2017. He brought a charge of treason and tax crimes against Manafort.
The investigation of Mueller became the main headache of the new president, Donald Trump. He is constantly forced to fend off suspicions that he, for the sake of winning the American elections, has promised too much to the Russian Kremlin.
If Deripaska had not touched Manafort, the Russian trace in Trump’s career might have faded. But Deripaska by a lawsuit to Manafort showed that he actually kept the chief of the campaign headquarters of the future US president.
This is a completely different situation, and the immediate fact of Russia’s external intervention in the process of democratic elections sacred for Americans. This turn seriously complicated the already very cold Russian-American relations, which fell to the level of crisis.
Stepping out agency from the FSB
It is possible that excessive initiative of Deripaska in the US direction was angered by Russian special services, which launched a campaign to discredit him.
During the campaign, one of the workers of the stepping out agency, the Belarusian Anastasia, with obvious cover from the Lubyanka, was able to publish the book “How to seduce the billionaire”, in which she gave several examples of how Deripaska solves issues of state significance with high officials of the Russian government at leisure.
The Anti-corruption Fund of Navalny was interested in those who gave the opportunity to an ordinary girl with a “low social responsibility” to publish such a book without attempting her life or other consequences …?
During the investigation Anti-corruption Fund of Navalny got a video, in which Deripaska explains to the worker of the stepping out agency why the US treats Russia so badly, and points to Sergei Prikhodko as a witness.
He is called the permanent power broker of Russian foreign policy. In the 90 years, Prikhodko worked as the foreign-policy assistant to President Boris Yeltsin. After Putin came, he worked as deputy head of the presidential administration for foreign policy.
In 2004-2012 Prikhodko again took the appointment of chief external presidential assistant, and became a key figure in the adoption of state decisions in the sphere of Russia’s foreign policy.
After Putin became president for the third time, Prikhodko had to take the appointment of deputy prime minister and head of the government apparatus in 2013 instead of the curator of the “Ukrainian problem” Vladislav Surkov, who went on promotion to the presidential administration.
Since then, Prikhodko has lost the post of Kremlin’s chief foreign policy ideologist to Yuri Ushakov. But Prikhodko continues to maintain a high weight in the development of foreign policy decisions of the Russian Federation due to his high informal status among Russian officials.
The personal benefit of the oligarch and the losses of the Kremlin
Despite his status, the incomes of the Russian vice-prime minister did not allow him to regularly ride a yacht off the coast of Norway and fly business-class aircraft. These expenses were paid by Deripaska. If we add to this that he was giving huge nonrepayable loans to Paul Manafort, there might be an impression that the aluminum magnate tried to tear the RF and the US against each other with aim to make profits thanks to the crisis between the countries.
This crisis, for example, allowed Deripaska painlessly gets rid of large industrial assets in Ukraine under the guise of fleeing the “American external government” in Kiev. The departure of the Russian aluminum magnate from the Ukrainian economy significantly weakened the trade and economic influence of Russia in Ukraine. This was a loss for the Kremlin.
But fascinated by the growing “cold war” with the United States, Russian special services did not notice Deripaska’s high personal profit from such a situation for a long time.
The fate of the oligarch
The current campaign to discredit the aluminum tycoon showed that such a patient attitude towards him ended. If we add to this the great financial difficulties long experienced by Deripaska’s aluminum business, we can assume that he found himself in front of a difficult choice.
It means to become the main victim of the “cooling relations” between Russia and the US, to which he allegedly had his finger. Aluminum, after all, is the metal of the defense industry, and having waged two wars abroad, it will not be very difficult for Russia to nationalize Deripaska’s assets under the customary motto “Homeland in danger”, or, on the sly of a lawsuit against Manafort to flee to the US, and to save at least part of its capital from the threat of its confiscation by the Kremlin.
As the New York Times reported in May 2017, Oleg Deripaska was ready to testify in the US Congress in the framework of the committee’s investigations into “Russian interference” in the elections in exchange for non-judicature …
NYT called Deripaska a member of Vladimir Putin’s “close circle” and wrote, referring to the opinions of three anonymous sources in the Congress, that Deripaska was ready to answer questions from the security committee. But as a condition, he demanded that he be granted immunity from prosecution.
According to the publication, the special committee for intelligence of the House of Representatives denied Deripaska because of fears that this could create difficulties for FBI employees who are investigating the relations of US President Donald Trump with Russia.
Earlier, the Associated Press reported that the head of Trump’s campaign headquarters, Paul Manafort, secretly worked for Oleg Deripaska more than 10 years ago and promoted the interests of the Russian authorities. Deripaska denied this information, having bought an advertising strip in The Wall Street Journalfor this purpose.