By John Helmer, Moscow
Last month Oleg Deripaska authorized a Washington lobbyist he employs to submit to the US Department of Justice the claim that Deripaska meets with American “businesspeople to assess economic development in the United States in connection with his role as an economic advisor to the President of the Russian Federation.”
The lobbyist Adam Waldman is paid $40,000 per month, plus expenses, from the offshore revenues of United Company Rusal to make this claim part of a case Deripaska has advanced in Washington for several years, trying to overturn the US Government ban on his receiving a regular visa for entry to the country.
In addition to the American agent, Deripaska has engaged the Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, to lobby for the same purpose. Lavrov has told Waldman he has the Foreign Ministry’s “full support and appreciation for your efforts…in order to explore [sic] unambiguous, multi-entry visa status to enter the United States for Mr Oleg V. Deripaska.” According to Lavrov, “businesses of Mr Deripaska maintain diversified commercial relations…to the benefit of American economy.”
The recent disclosure in Justice Department files of Deripaska’s and Lavrov’s lobbying in Washington during 2012 was reported here. On Monday, when Deripaska’s spokesman in Moscow, Alexei Sadykov, was asked if Deripaska is the appointee of the Kremlin as an economic advisor to the President, Saykov replied: “we don’t comment on this topic.” President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov was asked the same question.
Today, Maria Sergeyeva for Putin and Peskov telephoned to say: “Deripaska is not Putin’s adviser on the economy. Only by a presidential decree and only he [Putin] can make decisions on the appointment [of advisors]”.
Here is the list of Putin’s advisors: Alexander Abramov; Alexander Bedritsky; Mikhail Fedotov; Sergei Dubik; Sergei Grigorov; Igor Levitin; Vladimir Tolstoy; Anton Ustinov; and Veniamin Yakovlev.