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3 Feb, 2010 03:52

Russian billionaire to give $2 billion to charity

Russian billionaire Vladimir Potanin says he plans to give almost all of his two billion dollar fortune to charity within the decade.

Potanin’s current assets include a 25% stake in Norilsk Nickel – Russia's largest mining company, 30% in Rosbank, and a $1.5-billion-dollar ski development in the south of the country.

The 49-year-old said if he left his money to his three children, it would stop them from achieving anything themselves.

He could become the first Russian billionaire to give his fortune to charity.

Larisa Zelkova, director of Potanin's charitable foundation, explained how the donations will be made.

“In the next ten years, Potanin is going to increase the amounts given to charities. Currently, it’s about $10 million a year. Over the next ten years it will be increased to almost $25 million a year,” Zelkova said.

About 11 years ago Vladimir Potanin established his own charity fund for educational and cultural programs. There is a separate sports project as well.