US intelligence agencies tried to recruit Deripaska and other Russian oligarchs

US intelligence agencies tried to recruit Deripaska and other Russian oligarchs
Oleg Deripaska Photo: The New York Times

Referring to its sources, The New York Times reported that for two years, the FBI and the US Justice Department tried to persuade the richest people of Russia, including the beneficiary of Bazovy Element company Oleg Deripaska, to cooperate.

In the period from 2014 to 2016, the FBI and the US Justice Department tried to make Russian businessman Oleg Deripaska its informant, The New York Times reports.

However, according to acting and former US officials, whom the newspaper refers to as its sources, as well as people around Deripaska, the attempts proved unsuccessful.

In particular, the American intelligence agencies offered Deripaska assistance in obtaining a US visa and solving legal problems.

In exchange for this, they wanted to obtain information about Russian organized crime, and later on the possible assistance to Russia of the presidential campaign of Donald Trump in 2016, from the billionaire. April 6, 2018, the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the US Treasury Department included Oleg Deripaska and his assets, including Rusal, in the sanctions list. Its participants are denied access to the financial system of the country, and US residents are forbidden to conduct business with them. After this, many traders and partners refused to cooperate with Rusal.

According to the publication, the attempts to recruit Deripaska were not sporadic. The agencies made efforts to establish cooperation with Russia's 5-6 richest people associated with President Putin. Participants in this campaign were former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele –  author of the scandalous dossier on Donald Trump – and an employee of the US Justice Department, Bruce Ohr.

It is noteworthy that in May, the same publication wrote that federal agents from the team of US Attorney General Robert Muller communicated with Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg at the airport in New York, where he had arrived in a private plane. Back then, Muller's agents stopped the Russian billionaire to check his electronic devices.

Tags: Oligarchs
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