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Russian businessman Timchenko says charity projects unaffected by US sanctions

November 07, 2014, 14:38 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The Timchenko Foundation is aimed at supporting elderly people, promoting culture and sports and providing assistance to families and children
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Gennady Timchenko

Gennady Timchenko

© ITAR-TASS/Alexei Druzhinin

MOSCOW, November 7. /TASS/. Russian businessman Gennady Timchenko said on Friday he continues all charity projects in full scale despite US sanctions introduced against Russia amid the Ukrainian conflict.

“(The projects) continue in the same scale as previously planned,” Timchenko told journalists on the sidelines of the session of the Russian Geographical Society, which develops science and education in the country.

Timchenko, formerly a shareholder of oil trading company Gunvor Group, with the fortune estimated at between $12 billion and $16 billion, is on the list of Russians personally targeted by the US asset freezes and visa bans in March and whose companies were hit by sanctions in July.

The Wall Street Journal published a report Thursday saying that the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, “aided by the Justice Department,” had launched an investigation into whether Gennady Timchenko, the founder of Gunvor Group, transferred funds linked to certain deals in Russia through the US financial system.

Timchenko sold his main financial asset — a 44% package in Gunvor — to his Swedish partner Thorbjorn Tornqvist a day before the US authorities placed him on the blacklist.

The businessman said on Friday the US money-laundering investigation against him and energy trader Gunvor is an attempt to target President Vladimir Putin.

“I am 100% sure that this is the case,” Timchenko said in an interview with Rossiya-24 TV channel, adding that the provocations have been continuing for several years.

“We have been experiencing this for five years already. They are striving to pinch us, but let them sort out this at their place. We have not done anything wrong,” the businessman said.

In an interview with TASS in August, Timchenko said that US secret services were masterminding a provocation against him.

Timchenko and his wife Elena have established a charity organization, known as Timchenko Foundation. Until September 2013, the organization was called the Ladoga Foundation.

The Timchenko Foundation was created to support elderly people, promote culture and sports and provide assistance to families and children. According to Forbes magazine, this is one of the largest private charity foundations in Russia.

The businessman also said that he  plans to hold talks with Total's new leadership by end of November in Moscow.

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