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9 Feb, 2018 23:00

Russian tycoon Deripaska threatens lawsuit over rumors of corrupt ties to top official

Russian tycoon Deripaska threatens lawsuit over rumors of corrupt ties to top official

Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska has dismissed “false accusations” and is ready to take the issue to court after a video of his alleged meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister on a luxury yacht sparked corruption allegations.

The controversy erupted after footage emerged online, allegedly showing the Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergey Prikhodko vacationing with Russian aluminum tycoon Deripaska on his yacht off the Norwegian coast back in 2016.

The footage was taken by a woman, Nastya Rybka, who is a model and author of a training manual on how to “seduce an oligarch.” She posted several photos and short clips of the voyage on her Instagram account, where they were found and dissected by opposition activist Aleksey Navalny. The activist, who came to prominence as an anti-corruption blogger, went on to claim that the meeting between the businessman and politician, who was reportedly flown there by Deripaska’s private jet, amounts to nothing less than bribery.

Deripaska dismissed insinuations as sensationalist and “false accusations,” and said he is ready to defend his reputation in court. The allegations of corruption have “nothing to do with reality,” the businessman’s representative told Russian media. The Russian government has not yet commented, with the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov saying he is not in a position and “would not like” to address the scandal.

Prikhodko is a Russian diplomat and politician, who also worked as a deputy head of the Russian presidential administration and the head of the administration’s Foreign Relations Department.

Oleg Deripaska is the founder and owner of one of the largest Russian diversified industrial groups, the Basic Element. He is also the president of the United Company Rusal, one of the largest aluminum companies in the world.

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