Oleg Deripaska Background

The Moscow Project
Sep 28, 2017 · 4 min read

The Washington Post article highlighted Paul Manafort’s relationship with Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska. The article brought to light new information about just how eager Manafort was to strengthen his (and Trump’s) ties with Russia. In light of this, let’s take a closer look at who exactly Oleg Deripaska is:

Deripaska is wealthy, determined, and very close to Putin.

U.S. officials have had their eye on Deripaska for years.

  • After Deripaska emerged as the heir apparent to the Russian aluminum industry, allegations of his connections to Russian organized crime led to the U.S. State Department to refuse to issue him a business visa.
  • The FBI interviewed Deripaska numerous times, and reports suggest that in 2009 he traveled to the US twice under “secret arrangements made by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.” Although these trips may have been related to his suspected links to Russian organized crime (which he has denied), details of the FBI’s interest in Deripaska are scarce.

Deripaska’s business ties with Manafort run deep.

  • The relationship between Deripaska and Manafort didn’t start with the 2016 election, nor is this the first time that Manafort has possibly connected a U.S. presidential candidate to Deripaska.
  • In 2008, one of Manafort’s business partners arranged for Deripaska to meet John McCain when he was running for president. Deripaska emailed Manafort directly to thank him for helping to arrange this meeting.
  • In 2006, Manafort signed a $10 million annual contract with Deripaska based on a strategy plan reportedly indicating that Manafort would work to influence western politics to benefit Putin’s government.
  • The work completed by Manafort under this contract is unclear, although it raises the question of whether Manafort should have registered as a foreign agent with the U.S. Justice Department during this time.

Manafort reportedly owes $19 million to Deripaska after business failure.

The extent of Deripaska’s involvement remains to be seen.

  • In May 2017, Deripaska sued The Associated Press for libel over its reporting on his relationship with Paul Manafort. The suit alleges that the AP falsely implied that Deripaska paid Manafort in exchange for his work that advanced the goals of the Russian government and Vladimir Putin, and that Deripaska’s relationship with Manafort was related to Manafort’s work on the Trump campaign. This lawsuit is ongoing.
  • Deripaska allegedly offered to cooperate with the congressional committees that are investigating the Russian hacking of the 2016 elections. He offered this assistance in exchange for a grant of full immunity. His offer was reportedly declined due to concerns that an immunity deal could “create complications for federal criminal investigators.”

The Moscow Project

Written by

Investigating the extent, nature, and purpose of Trump’s ties to the Kremlin. https://themoscowproject.org

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