icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

‘I was only child’: Russian oligarch denies links to woman in epicenter of Austrian leak scandal

‘I was only child’: Russian oligarch denies links to woman in epicenter of Austrian leak scandal
Igor Makarov, a Russian oligarch whose supposed “niece” was filmed discussing alleged shady deals with the Austrian vice-chancellor, stated he has no family links to that woman as he was “an only child” in his family.

“It is widely known that I was the only child in my family, and I have no nieces whatsoever,” Makarov’s spokesperson told Forbes’ Russian edition. “I have no family bonds with the woman who calls herself Alena Makarova and I don’t know her at all,” he added.

Also on rt.com Austrian VC caught discussing alleged shady deals, and pundits cry 'Russia took over the country'

The woman in question featured in a video leaked to two German publications, Spiegel and Suddeutsche Zeitung. The 2017 footage shows her meeting with Heinz-Christian Strache, Austrian vice-chancellor and leader of the rightwing populist Freedom Party (FPO), and his aide Johann Gudenus, allegedly discussing corruption schemes.

While Spiegel did not identify the woman in their initial article, Suddeutsche Zeitung wrote that she was introduced to the politicians as "a niece" of Igor Makarov, "a Russian oligarch close to [President Vladimir] Putin.”

Makarov is the founder of Itera (now Areti), Russia's first non-state gas company. In the late-1990s, the firm re-sold gas from the former Soviet republic of Turkmenistan, where Makarov was born. He is ranked 48th in the list of Russia’s wealthiest people with an estimated net worth of $2.1 billion.

Also on rt.com ‘Enemies of freedom’? Germany launches anti-rightwing crusade amid Austrian govt crisis

As the story unfolds, Makarov’s company is now “using all lawful means to establish who was behind the illegal use of [his] name.”

Meanwhile in Austria, the scandal led to the resignation of Strache as vice-chancellor and head of the FPO. The government, led by conservative Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, proposed a snap election set for early September of this year. Strache denies any wrongdoings, saying the leaked video lacks key details and its publication two years after the events was “a political assassination.”

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

Dear readers and commenters,

We have implemented a new engine for our comment section. We hope the transition goes smoothly for all of you. Unfortunately, the comments made before the change have been lost due to a technical problem. We are working on restoring them, and hoping to see you fill up the comment section with new ones. You should still be able to log in to comment using your social-media profiles, but if you signed up under an RT profile before, you are invited to create a new profile with the new commenting system.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and looking forward to your future comments,

RT Team.