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US sanctions don’t apply to Russians who plotted trade deals with Biden

U.S. sanctions applied by the Biden administration to numerous Russian oligarchs do not apply to two Russian oligarchs who paid the Biden family business, House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R- KY).

Yelena Baturina and Vladimir Yevtushenkov, two powerful members of the Russian oligarchy, escaped the Biden administration’s crushing sanctions imposed on Russian elites following the Ukraine war.

MOSCOW, RUSSIA – SEPTEMBER 22 (RUSSIA OUT) Former Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov (L) and his wife, businessman, billionaire Yelena Baturina (R) attend the award ceremony at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia , September 22, 2016 Today Putin awarded dozens of politicians, scientists, musicians and others. (Photo by Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images)

The State Department has restricted the visas of 893 members of the Russian Federation. According to the Atlantic Council, the United States has more than 2,700 factions against Russia. Since the start of the war in Ukraine last year, the Biden administration has imposed about 1,500 new and 750 amended sanctions and export controls against Russia.

But Russian oligarchs Yelena Baturina and Vladimir Yevtushenkov are somehow immune to President Joe Biden’s reach.

“Mysteriously, it was the two oligarchs who weren’t in the sanctions,” Comer told Fox News on Thursday. “Joe Biden imposed sanctions on almost all of Russia’s oligarchs after Russia invaded Ukraine, except for the two who paid off the Bidens.”

In 2014, Baturina, with an estimated net worth of $1.4 billion, wired $3.5 million to a bank account held by Rosemont Seneca Thornton – an entity formed between Hunter’s investment company, Rosemont Seneca , and the Thornton Group. The consortium was controlled by Rosemont Capital Partners, a private equity firm co-founded by Hunter Biden and Chris Heinz.

Baturina started a business in 1991 which focused on construction although it started out as a plastics business. In 2012, Hunter struck a $40 million real estate deal with Baturina, while President Joe Biden served as vice president. The massive deal was tied to a previously reported $3.5 million fee Baturina paid Hunter’s real estate entity to gain access to the U.S. business market, according to documents obtained by anti-corruption group Kazakhstani Initiative on Asset Recovery.

Yevtushenkov, the second oligarch barred from Biden administration sanctions, partnered with Baturina while seeking real estate investments in the United States. Worth an estimated $1.7 billion, Evtushenkov’s business was in the information technology and mobile phone business sectors.

Yevtushenkov admitted to meeting Hunter at the posh Ritz-Carlton hotel near Central Park from 9-10 a.m. on March 14, 2012, according to investigative reporter Vicky Ward, previously reported by the New York Post.

According to Posts source with first-hand knowledge of Hunter and Yevtushenkov’s relationship, the Russian oligarch wanted to invest with Hunter to be in good graces with the Biden family:

“I asked [Yevtushenkov], ‘Why do you do that?’ upstream — before I realized they were going to buy real estate,” a source told the Post. ” ‘Why are you doing this ? Why would you pay the vice president’s son to meet at a public restaurant in New York? »

“He made it very clear to me that, you know… ‘I think it would be nice to have a good relationship with this guy… maybe he can do us a favor and we can do him a favor'” , the source continued. “It was a complete counterpart that he was heading into.”

“I told him that’s not how it works in America, [but] he laughed at me and told me I was so naive,” the source recalls of Evtushenkov, whose holdings also include Russia’s biggest cellphone provider MTS, which made the subject of a long American investigation into nearly a billion dollars in bribes paid to officials in Uzbekistan. between 2004 and 2012.

In March, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre declined to answer why the Biden administration refused to sanction Russian oligarchs.

“I just don’t talk about anything related to his son from here,” Jean-Pierre said. “If you want to ask a question about Hunter Biden specifically, I would refer you to his family. And regarding sanctions, I’m not talking to individual people from Russia. »

Follow Wendell Husebo on Twitter @WendellHusebo. He is the author of Politics of slave morality.

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