A huge mansion on the Black Sea worth more than a billion dollars, a luxury yacht, an apartment in Monaco and an expensive villa in France. These are properties indirectly related to the Russian President, Vladimir Poutinewhich has again captured media attention now that the United States, Britain and the European Union have sanctioned him to freeze his assets and assets.
It is estimated that he has a hidden fortune of more than 100,000 million dollars, which would make him the richest president on the planet. Although there is no way to explain where this money came from, since his salary is $140,000 a year. Putin denied being a millionaire.
Bill Browder, an American investor who was expelled from Russia in 2005, testified before Congress in 2017 that he believed Putin’s wealth would reach 200 billion dollars. That figure would place him as the richest person in the world, above Jeff Bezos, who owns $177 billion; Elon Musk, with $151 billion; and Bill Gates, with $124 billion.
Anders Aslund, assistant professor at Georgetown University and author of the book on Russia’s crony capitalism, estimated that the Russian president would have approximately $125 billion.
Those who have tried to trace Putin’s money say some of it is hidden in accounts in the names of friends, relatives and allies in tax havens. They were revealed in leaked financial documents. For example, the so-called Pandora’s Papers exposed that a woman who was allegedly Putin’s lover had acquired an apartment in Monaco valued at $4.1 million. She bought it through a company off the coast. When reporters followed up, they discovered he had various assets totaling approximately $100 million.
And the Panama Papers They revealed that in documents presented to a Swiss bank, the secret wealth of many people close to Putin was recorded, such as his old friend Sergei Roldugin, a cellist who allegedly made transactions for over $8 million for one year.
Governments that have sanctioned the Russian president have not accounted for his assets or their location. He claims to have only a small apartment which he maintains with his salary as president, similar to that of other world leaders.
Sanctions imposed by the United States
By putting it on your blacklist, The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said it did so for orchestrating the “unprovoked and premeditated” invasion of Ukraine.
“As president, Putin is the commander-in-chief of the Russian armed forces which are currently carrying out an unwarranted incursion into a sovereign European state. No one is more responsible for Russia’s war on Ukraine, the destabilization of Russia’s neighbors, the suffering of the Ukrainian people, and years of malicious Russian activity around the world,” OFAC said. .
As a result of this designation, all of Putin’s assets and interests that are in the United States or in the possession of Americans are blocked. And it prohibits all transactions involving property or interests conducted by Americans or in this country.
OFAC has not clarified so far whether it has ever taken action against any of Putin’s assets. Experts understand that the action of this dependence is above all symbolic. Now he has joined a small group of US-signed leaders, such as Nicola Maduro from Venezuela, Kim Jong Un from Korea and Bashar al-Assad from Syria.
“It is extremely rare for the Treasury Department to appoint a head of state,” OFAC said.
These sanctions are “just to freeze what we can, freeze what we know and let people know that these people are not welcome in our system,” he said. New York Times Paul Massaro, senior adviser to the US Helsinki Commission who has advised members of Congress on sanctions against Russia.
The luxurious life of Putin’s relatives
European authorities also did not say whether they had identified any Putin property.
His ex-wife owns a villa in the south of France. While in Germany she was anchored on the yacht ‘Graceful’, also known as ‘Putin’s Yacht’, worth $100 million. Weeks before the invasion of Ukraine, the luxury ship set sail for Russia, according to The New York Times.
The mansion on the Black Sea was under construction in 2010, two years before he came to power.
Sergei Kolesnikov, who claimed to be a business associate of a Putin ally, wrote a letter to then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev claiming he was building a huge estate that would come to be known as the “Palace of Putin”. It cost over a billion dollars obtained by “corruption, bribery and theft”, according to the New York newspaper.
The “Palais de Poutine” has a cinema room, a hookah lounge and a stage for pole dancing The president’s childhood friend, billionaire Arkady Rotenberg, claimed in 2021 that he owned the lavish residence and explained his plan was to turn it into a hotel, the report reported. Times.