Putin ‘in-laws’ in richest family list

Putin ‘in-laws’ in richest family list

Katerina Tikhonova has considerable personal assets. Source: YouTube

The man believed to be Russian President Vladimir Putin’s son-in-law is a member of one of Russia’s richest families, according to Forbes magazine.

Putin has two daughters, although neither has appeared with him in public since they were children and Putin and his staff have refused to comment on what they do. Several probes, including one by Reuters, have pointed to a woman calling herself Katerina Tikhonova as Putin’s younger daughter and her husband Kirill Shamalov as his son-in-law.

Reuters estimated that Shamalov’s wealth began increasing following his reported wedding to Tikhonova. Forbes said the whole Shamalov family benefited from the windfall.

Forbes ranks the Shamalov family as Russia’s fourth wealthiest, estimating that Kirill Shamalov was worth US$2.3 billion, due to his 21.3-per-cent share in energy company Sibur, while his father Nikolay has an estimated worth of US$100 million.

Since being labelled as Putin’s son-in-law, Shamalov’s dealings have attracted increasing scrutiny from the Russian opposition.

Anti-graft blogger Alexey Navalny filed a case against Putin in February, accusing him of corruption, alleging that the president decreed that Sibur be granted US$1.75 billion in state investments last year, without declaring a conflict of interest.

A Moscow court ruled that the president had constitutionally immunity.

The Rotenberg family, many of whom are within the Putin inner circle and are pictured playing hockey and training in judo with him, were named as the second wealthiest Russian family. At number one was entrepreneur Mikhail Gutseriev’s family. He owns energy companies Russneft, Neftisa, OAO Russian Coal and others.

Sibur International said that it did not comment on the private lives of its investors, shareholders or the members of its board.

Meanwhile, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said a new arms deal would avoid further tensions with the Kremlin and help build trust. He has made several attempts to end “sabre-rattling”. The minister wrote in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that he wanted to avert a “new and dangerous arms race” to ensure peace in Europe and beyond.

Steinmeier argued that a new non-proliferation deal on conventional arms would be “a proven means for transparency, risk prevention and trust building”.

Steinmeier said the Kremlin had violated basic, non-negotiable principles of peace, breaking bonds of trust that had built up over decades, in apparent reference to Crimea and eastern Ukraine.

“At the same time, we must all be united in the desire to avoid a further twist in the escalating spiral,” he argued.

Steinmeier called for a “structured dialogue, with all partners who carry responsibility for the security of our continent”.

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