Viktor Vekselberg's frozen assets in the U.S. are a blow to Sberbank and a relative who donated to Trump

Meduza
14:51, 23 april 2018

According to the newsletter The Bell, shortly before he was sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department, billionaire Viktor Vekselberg became an investor in SBT Venture Capital II at Sberbank CEO German Gref’s personal request. Roughly 20 percent of the venture fund’s $75 million comes from Sberbank, with the rest coming mostly from private Russian investors.

Sources told The Bell that “one of Vekselberg’s funds in the U.S.” was informed by an American bank a few hours before the “oligarch sanctions” were announced that its account has been frozen. The fund now has until June 5 to sell off Vekselberg’s shares (at a loss). The money, moreover, won’t return to Vekselberg; it will be transferred to a special U.S.-based bank account and frozen. A source told The Bell that Vekselberg has invested roughly $1 billion in American funds.

Over the weekend, Reuters reported that U.S. sanctions have led to the freezing of as much as $2 billion in global assets owned by Vekselberg and his Renova Group conglomerate. Renova also owns an American subsidiary called Columbus Nova Technology Partners, which is run by Andrew Intrater, Vekselberg’s U.S. citizen cousin. Intrater donated $250,000 to Donald Trump’s inauguration fund, as well as $35,000 to a joint fundraising committee for Trump’s reelection and the Republican National Committee.