A detained billionaire who made a fortune as a middleman in Russia’s murky gas trade with Ukraine may hold the key for U.S. lawmakers seeking harsher sanctions against President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.
U.S. and European Union sanctions against Russia won’t stop OAO Rosneft from buying Morgan Stanley’s oil sales unit, Chief Executive Officer Igor Sechin said, underscoring the limitations of the punitive measures.
When Igor Sechin was working as President Vladimir Putin’s deputy chief of staff a decade ago, visitors to his Kremlin office noticed an unusual collection on the bookshelves: row after row of bound volumes containing minutes of Communist Party congresses.
Russian companies have made $180 billion in deals globally in the past two years, providing steady profits to London bankers, lawyers, and image crafters as the city has become a hub for such transactions. Sanctions being imposed by the U.S. and European Union threaten that business.
Russian stocks rallied after President Vladimir Putin said he wasn’t seeking to split up Ukraine following the Crimea region’s admission to the Russian Federation. The Finance Ministry pulled its sixth bond auction this year after borrowing costs climbed.