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How much is Putin’s “fortune” that the US and Europe want to freeze | Univision World News

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. They are properties indirectly linked to the Russian president, Vladimir Putinwhich have once again captured the attention of the media now that the United States, Great Britain and the European Union 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 the origin of that money, since his salary is 140,000 dollars a year. Putin has 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. 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, adjunct professor at Georgetown University and author of the book on Russia’s Crony Capitalism, estimated that the Russian president would have about $125 billion.

Those who have tried to trace Putin’s money say that part of it is hidden in accounts in the name of friends, relatives and allies in tax havens. They have come to light in financial document leaks. For example, the so-called Pandora Papers exhibited that a woman said to be Putin’s lover had acquired an apartment in Monaco valued at $4.1 million. She bought it through a company offshore. When journalists followed the trail they found that he had various assets totaling around $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 registered, such as his old friend Sergei Roldugin, a cellist who would have made transactions for more than $8 million for a year.

The governments that sanctioned the Russian president did not report on his assets or where they are. He assures that he only has a small apartment that he supports with his salary as president, similar to that of other world leaders.

The sanctions imposed by the US

By putting it on your blacklist, The Treasury Department’s Office for Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) explained that it was doing so for orchestrating the “unprovoked and premeditated” invasion of Ukraine.

“As president, Putin is the commander-in-chief of the Russian Armed Forces who are currently conducting an unwarranted incursion into a sovereign European state. No individual is more responsible for Russia’s war against Ukraine, the destabilization of Russia’s neighbors, the suffering of the Ukrainian people, and years of Russian malign activities globally,” OFAC said.

As a result of this designation, all of Putin’s property 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 specified so far if it has already carried out any action against any of Putin’s assets. Experts understand that the action of this dependency is above all symbolic. Now he joined a small group of leaders signed by the United States, such as Nicholas 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 worth “just to freeze what we can, freeze what we know and let people know that these people are not welcome in our system,” he told New York Times Paul Massaro, a senior adviser to the US Helsinki Commission who has advised members of Congress on Russia sanctions.

The luxurious life of people close to Putin

European authorities have also not indicated whether they have 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’, valued at $100 million. A few weeks before the invasion of Ukraine, the luxury vessel 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 Dmitri Medvedev claiming that he was building a huge estate that would come to be known as “Putin’s Palace.” It cost more than $1 billion obtained through “corruption, bribery and theft”, according to the New York newspaper.

The ‘Putin’s Palace’ has a movie theater, a hookah lounge and a stage for pole dance A childhood friend of the president, billionaire Arkady Rotenberg, claimed in 2021 that he was the owner of the lavish residence and explained that his plan was to turn it into a hotel, reported the Times.

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