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WaPo: Trump Organization pursued plan to develop Trump Tower in Moscow

August 28, 6:03 updated at: August 28, 7:24 UTC+3 WASHINGTON

According to the Washington Post, "a Russian-born real estate developer" named Felix Sater "urged Trump to come to Moscow to tout the proposal

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© AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

WASHINGTON, August 28. /TASS/. During the 2016 US presidential campaign, the Trump Organization was pursuing a plan to develop a Trump Tower in Moscow, the Washington Post said citing "several people familiar with the proposal and new records reviewed by Trump Organization lawyers." However, this plan was not implemented.

According to the Washington Post, "a Russian-born real estate developer" named Felix Sater "urged Trump to come to Moscow to tout the proposal." "Discussions about the Moscow project began in earnest in September 2015, according to people briefed on the deal. An unidentified investor planned to build the project and, under a licensing agreement, put Trump’s name on it," the newspaper wrote adding that "it is unclear how involved or aware Trump was of the negotiations."

"Trump never went to Moscow as Sater proposed. And although investors and Trump’s company signed a letter of intent, they lacked the land and permits to proceed and the project was abandoned at the end of January 2016, just before the presidential primaries began," the Washington Post added.

The Washington Post also said that the emails concerning the plan "are scheduled to be turned over to congressional investigators soon."

Meanwhile, the White House officials declined to comment, the Washington Post said.

Trump and key members of his team have been repeatedly rejecting all the accusations concerning collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Moscow has also been refuting these allegations.

Sater and sanctions

The name of Felix Sater, who came to New York from the Soviet Union when he was eight, has already been brought up by the US media before. In February 2017, the New York Times wrote that Michael Flynn, who served as national security advisor at the time, had been briefed about some proposals aimed at improving relations between Russia and Ukraine, as well as at lifting sanctions on Russia.

Ukrainian member of parliament Andrei Artemenko played the leading role in drawing up that plan, which particularly mentioned Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko’s involvement in corruption. Artemenko was said to have allegedly made an agreement with Sater, who had some business relations with Trump in the past, and Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen.

However, Cohen later denied providing any information to Flynn, but admitted to have a meeting with Artemenko, which had been arranged by Sater.

In March 2017, the USA Today wrote that "to expand his real estate developments over the years, Donald Trump, his company and partners repeatedly turned to wealthy Russians and oligarchs from former Soviet republics - several allegedly connected to organized crime." Sater was named as one of those. According to the USA Today, "Sater spent a year in prison for stabbing a man in the face," while "a federal criminal complaint in New York in 1998 accused Sater of money laundering and stock manipulation but was kept secret by prosecutors because the Russian immigrant was working as a CIA informant, according to numerous published reports."

Unbuilt tower

It is no news that the Trump Organization planned to build a tower in Moscow. Trump told TASS about the plan while on a visit to Moscow for the Miss Universe 2013 pageant.

Russian businessman Aras Agalarov’s Crocus Group was one of the companies taking part in the tower negotiations. In July 2015, Agalarov told TASS that Trump, who had already entered the presidential race by then, did not plan to withdraw from the project. However, in November 2016 Agalarov said that if Trump won the presidential election, the implementation of their joint plan would be out of the question.

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