On Friday, FT wrote the U.S. believes that Deripaska laundered money for President Vladimir Putin. According to the publication, that was the reason why Washington imposed sanctions against the businessman. The newspaper referred to a U.S. Treasury letter to Deripaska’s lawyers explaining the sanctions.
“Another portion of lies,” the businessman wrote on his channel in the Telegram messenger and attached a link to the article in the British newspaper.
Later, on Friday, the businessman added an ironic comment on the FT publication about his alleged investments made on behalf of the Russian President.
“What money? He didn’t even entrust me with a pen for 10 minutes,” Deripaska wrote on his Telegram channel.
The businessman recalled the meeting in the town of Pikalevo in 2009, when Vladimir Putin, who was then Prime Minister, put a pen on the table and ordered Deripaska to sign an agreement with fertilizer giant PhosAgro on the supply of raw materials to the Pikalevo plant, which made it possible to protect the rights of workers. When Deripaska, having signed the document, headed for his place, Putin stopped him with the words: “Give me the pen back!”
The FT article also contained the words of Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who rejected the assumption that any money laundering took place or that Deripaska made investments following orders from Vladimir Putin. “That’s not true. That’s all,” Peskov said.
In April 2018, the U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions against Oleg Deripaska and companies controlled by him. Sanctions covered Rusal, Basic Element, En+, Russian Machines, EuroSibEnergo, GAZ Group, B-Finance and the Kuban agricultural holding.
The sanctions were lifted in January last year, after Deripaska agreed to relinquish control of his companies.