Andrei Kostin: Russia’s strongest financier and you can employer of ‘Putin’s piggy bank’ defies brand new oligarch sterotypes

Andrei Kostin: Russia’s strongest financier and you can employer of ‘Putin’s piggy bank’ defies brand new oligarch sterotypes

Last autumn, Kostin amazed dealers on West by approaching site visitors from the an effective gala restaurants from Moscow’s huge internationally financial appointment dressed as the Joseph Stalin

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Conjure right up an image of Russia’s most powerful banker, running an organization at the mercy of west sanctions and you can implicated in some home of being Vladmir Putin’s piggy-bank.

I imagine it is possible to visualize an extreme lookin, wall-shaped politburo bruiser from inside the black match, black colors and you may bushy eyebrows flanked of the a great bodyguard or a couple. Their workplace create, I suspect, end up being an enormous, oak-panelled business inside the a grey, Stalinist concrete slab by the Kremlin. A good portrait out of Putin create ray benignly off from above the large, mahogany dining table.

Andrei Kostin, boss of county-managed VTB lender, welcomes their people that have an excellent beaming look, an open-necked top and you may a great cheery handshake. He or she is naughty, like many powerful Russians. Past trip the guy astonished dealers from the West by approaching guests within good gala food out of Moscow’s huge global banking meeting outfitted given that Joseph Stalin.

Their English is great, with his place of work – for the 58th floors out of a cup and you can metal spike inside the Moscow’s financial district – was light and airy, offering progressive Russian art works. Grand window tie two corners of the space, frequently considering new center of your city together with monumental Russian White Domestic government building. We state “apparently”, since when We visit, whatever you are able to see try heavy light snowflakes and you can fog. It’s for example keeping the head inside an excellent feather support.

VTB hit the headlines within the united kingdom through the Oleg Deripaska’s London flotation off his aluminum and effort behemoth En+. Among the many criticisms of your own float is actually one finance raised away from British your retirement money would be repaying fund due in order to VTB, a sanctioned organization due to the fact Russia’s ‘adventures’ inside the Ukraine. The criticism are such as for example cutting given that VTB has been accused from the critics regarding credit currency to help you customers to the orders of the Kremlin.

It’s a state Kostin – just who an opponent banker relates to just like the “a survivor” having been running the lending company to own 15 years – vehemently rejects. “Never ever!” he states. “Bullsh*t. Which is bullsh*t, certainly bullsh*t. There’s never been a single case when Mr Putin titled me and claims ‘give that loan.’ In the event he questioned, I could pick a hundred reason why they must not be over.”

From inside the a comparable vein, an excellent VTB part, RCB, is famously implicated by the journalists investigating the fresh Panama Records from mysteriously lending hundreds of millions out of bucks to help you a cellist buddy from Putin, having account claiming the money is actually funnelled as a result of an effective $2bn overseas circle. Presumptions have been made – and rejected – that this is actually Putin’s cash. Once again, Kostin says VTB’s give is clean: “Ha! Which was a good facts: in the event the Panama Documents were blogged the latest reporters all questioned: ‘Ooh, where are Putin’s money, in which will it be? But in new Panama Paperwork, whose currency are discover? [David] Cameron’s and [Ukrainain chairman Petro] Poroschenko’s. Maybe not a single Russian older authoritative.”

The guy jovially heating to help you his theme: “After that, this new Heaven Paperwork were typed: maybe not one Russian elder official is stated. But who was? The fresh Queen from Great britain! Unfortunately they, due to the fact I enjoy the lady. Oh, therefore the minister regarding commerce in the Us [Wilbur Ross]. No Russian older officials.”


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Cynics will mention right here one to Ross’s featuring character regarding Paradise Papers was whilst showed your committing to a shipping business that have links so you’re able to an excellent Moscow-oriented organization whoever investors integrated Putin’s pal and judo mate Gennady Timchenko and you can man-in-rules Kirill Shamalov, however, around you go.

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