The activities of Russian oligarchs based in Britain are back in the focus of U.S. Senators investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, the Telegraph reports.
In particular, interviewing alleged associates of Russian Oligarch Oleg Deripaska, who is known to have close ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin, is the aim of the congressional investigators, the newspaper quoted them as saying.
The U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee has now written a formal letter to a London-based security consultant requesting his presence in Washington to give evidence. The bipartisan committee of U.S. Senators wants British-based security consultant Walter Soriano to attend a special closed session in Washington to answer questions about his alleged association with Deripaska, who has consistently denied any wrongdoing, as well as other key figures named in its Russian investigation.
The committee also expressed an interest in Soriano’s possible links with two former MI6 officers, Christopher Steele and Christopher Burrows, who were responsible for producing a highly damaging “dossier” on U.S. President Donald Trump’s alleged ties with Russia.
Soriano is an Israeli cyber security consultant whose company USG Security Ltd has offices in London next door to Orbis Business Intelligence, which is run by Steele and Burrows.
The committee has asked Soriano to give oral evidence in Washington as well as producing “all documents and records, including hard copies or electronically stored information” relating to any dealings he may have had with a number of key figures in its Russia investigation.
These include Deripaska “or any of his employees or associates” as well as “Orbis Business Intelligence, or any of its employees or associates, including but not limited to Christopher Steele and Christopher Burrows.”
Senators have also asked Soriano to provide material relating to any dealings he has had with other key figures in their two-year investigation into Russian meddling. These include Paul Manafort, a former key aide of Trump who is serving a seven-year jail term for fraud, Michael Flynn, the Trump administration’s first National Security Advisor, and Victor Boyarkin, a former officer in Russia’s GRU intelligence service who works for one of Deripaska’s network of companies and is now subject to U.S. sanctions.