Allies of Vladimir Putin funneled money through a business associate of Jared Kushner's for the purpose of investing in other companies.
Top White House adviser Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, is also implicated. The documents reveal that Kremlin-connected interests invested in social media giants Facebook and Twitter through one of Kushner’s business associates. Russian tech leader Yuri Milner (New York Times article), who funneled the money to Facebook and Twitter, has a stake in a company partly owned by Kushner.
Kushner told the U.S. Senate that he never 'relied on Russian funds to finance' his business.
Kushner said in July that he told the Senate Intelligence Committee in a closed-door meeting that he never “relied on Russian funds to finance my business activities in the private sector.” Representatives for Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Mark Warner (D-VA), the chairman and vice chairman of the committee, did not immediately return requests for comment.
A big investor in Mr. Milner’s Facebook deal received financing from Gazprom Investholding, another government-controlled financial institution, according to the documents.
Mr. Milner’s roughly $380 million investment in Twitter was directly backed by another instrument of Kremlin power: Russia’s second-largest bank, VTB. Sixty-one percent of the bank is owned by the Russian government. VTB’s president, Andrey L. Kostin, is a former Soviet diplomat; Matthias Warnig, on the bank’s supervisory council, is a former East German spy who served in Dresden while Mr. Putin was stationed there with the K.G.B.
Via the New York Times, Michael Carpenter, the National Security Council’s Russia director in the Obama administration, who is now senior director of the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement explains what to make of the Gazprom and VTB investments into Milner:
“Kremlin-connected institutions make investments with strategic interests in mind — not just commercial interests but state interests as well. He continued, “Oligarchs who receive significant amounts of financial support from Russian banks like VTB or Sberbank or Gazprombank have to pass above a political threshold, meaning such support requires the explicit or tacit approval of those at the top of Russia’s crony capitalist system.”