Andrei Kostin: Russia’s most powerful financier and manager off ‘Putin’s piggy bank’ defies the brand new oligarch sterotypes

Andrei Kostin: Russia’s most powerful financier and manager off ‘Putin’s piggy bank’ defies the brand new oligarch sterotypes

History trip, Kostin amazed dealers on West by dealing with traffic at a gala restaurants out-of Moscow’s grand globally financial appointment dressed up as Joseph Stalin

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Conjure up a picture of Russia’s strongest banker, powering an organisation at the mercy of west sanctions and you may accused in some quarters of being Vladmir Putin’s piggy-bank.

I imagine you can easily image an extreme looking, wall-molded politburo bruiser inside black colored fit, black colour and you may bushy eyebrows flanked by a great bodyguard or a couple of. Their workplace would, I suspect, be a huge, oak-panelled work in the a grey, Stalinist tangible slab by the Kremlin. A great portrait off Putin do beam benignly down regarding over the greater, mahogany dining table.

Andrei Kostin, company of your condition-controlled VTB bank, greets his someone that have an effective beaming smile, an unbarred-necked clothing and you will a great cheery handshake. They are naughty, like many effective Russians. History autumn he surprised dealers regarding West-by handling site visitors in the an effective gala restaurants of Moscow’s huge all over the world banking meeting dressed given that Joseph Stalin.

Their English is useful, and his place of work – towards the 58th flooring from a glass and you may metal surge during the Moscow’s financial area – was light and you will airy, offering modern Russian artworks. Grand windows tie several edges of one’s place, frequently looking towards the new centre of one’s area in addition to monumental Russian White Family bodies strengthening. I state “apparently”, since when I head to, all you are able to see are dense white snowflakes and you may fog. It’s such keeping your head during the good feather cushion.

VTB smack the headlines within the united kingdom while in the Oleg Deripaska’s London flotation out-of their aluminium and energy behemoth Dentro de+. Among the many criticisms of drift was one to fund elevated out of United kingdom your retirement funds could be settling funds owed so you can VTB, a sanctioned organization while the Russia’s ‘adventures’ inside the Ukraine. The brand new ailment try such as for instance reducing since VTB might have been accused because of the experts away from lending money so you’re able to consumers into the commands of one’s Kremlin.

It is a declare Kostin – which a rival banker refers to while the “an effective survivor” being running the bank to have 15 years – vehemently denies. “Never ever!” according to him. “Bullsh*t. That is bullsh*t, absolutely bullsh*t. There has not ever been a single case when Mr Putin named me and says ‘offer financing.’ Regardless of if the guy questioned, I can come across a hundred reason they really should not be over.”

Within the an identical vein, a beneficial VTB subsidiary, RCB, are notoriously implicated of the journalists exploring the brand new Panama Records from mysteriously lending billions regarding bucks to help you good cellist buddy off Putin, having account saying the bucks is funnelled as a consequence of a great $2bn offshore network. Assumptions have been made – and refuted – that this is actually Putin’s bucks. Again, Kostin states VTB’s hand is actually clean: “Ha! That was good facts: when the Panama Records was wrote the fresh new journalists every asked: ‘Ooh, in which is actually Putin’s currency, where could it possibly be? In this new Panama Paperwork, whoever money are discovered? [David] Cameron’s and [Ukrainain president Petro] Poroschenko’s. Perhaps not a single Russian older certified.”

He jovially heats to his motif: “Up coming, the brand new Paradise Paperwork was basically wrote: not an individual Russian elder authoritative is actually said. But who was simply? The Queen off Britain! Sad to say they, just like the Everyone loves the lady. Oh, therefore the minister out-of commerce in the United states [Wilbur Ross]. Zero Russian older authorities.”


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Cynics often highlight right here that Ross’s starring role in the Eden Documentation try whilst presented your investing in a distribution company which have hyperlinks to a Moscow-situated company whoever shareholders provided Putin’s buddy and you can judo companion Gennady Timchenko and you can child-in-rules Kirill Shamalov, however, indeed there you decide to go.

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