Russian tycoon Deripaska blasts FBI raids on properties

Washington imposed sanctions on Oleg Deripaska, 53, and other influential Russians in 2018. — Reuters pic
Washington imposed sanctions on Oleg Deripaska, 53, and other influential Russians in 2018. — Reuters pic

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MOSCOW, Oct 20 — Russian metals tycoon Oleg Deripaska attacked US “stupidity” in a mocking social media post today after FBI agents raided Washington and New York properties linked to his family.

Washington imposed sanctions on Deripaska, 53, and other influential Russians in 2018 because of their ties to President Vladimir Putin after alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election, which Moscow denies.

“Watching everything that is happening in America, I cannot help but marvel at the utter stupidity of part of the American establishment who persist in spinning this story about the allegedly colossal role of the Russians in the 2016 US presidential election,” Deripaska said.

“It is convenient to feed one’s electorate (brought up on Hollywood movies about horrible Russians) with all sorts of crap for another 10 years,” he added.

The two homes that, according to Deripaska, belong to his relatives were raided by the FBI on Tuesday. Two sources familiar with the investigation told Reuters the US Attorney’s office in Manhattan was leading the probe.

Deripaska said in his social media post that no one was living in the properties.

“I have to ask: how much of Putin’s money was found in those abandoned houses yesterday?” he said, sarcastically inquiring whether investigators had discovered any mouldy jam or vodka in the cupboards.

Deripaska is the founder of Russian aluminium giant Rusal , in which he still owns a stake via his shares in its parent company En+ Group. Deripaska relinquished control in both in 2018 as part of his deal with Washington that removed those companies from the blacklist but kept him on it.

Rusal’s Hong Kong-listed shares were down 3 per cent today.

The Kremlin declined to comment when asked about the FBI raids today, adding that it did not know what prompted the searches but was ready to defend the rights and interests of Russian citizens if they were affected. — Reuters

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