Tags: Education | Russia Probe | mit | oligarch | viktor vekselberg | sanctions | energy

MIT Cuts Russian Oligarch From Board

viktor vekselberg holding a phone up to his right ear while speaking into it
Viktor Vekselberg (Valeriy Melnikov/AP)

By    |   Monday, 14 January 2019 01:34 PM

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has distanced itself from Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg after he was sanctioned by the U.S. along with six other Russians last April.

Vekselberg, the co-founder of Renovo Asset Management Company, joined MIT's board of trustees in 2013 following his becoming president of the Skolkovo Foundation in Russia, which is roughly equivalent to Silicon Valley. In April 2018, Vekselberg, Renova Group, and six other wealthy and influential Russian business leaders were added to the Treasury Department's sanctions list. Vekselberg was "designated for operating in the energy sector of the Russian Federation economy."

"In 2013, Viktor Vekselberg joined the MIT Corporation, which is MIT's board of trustees," MIT spokeswoman Kimberly Allen wrote in an email to Newsweek. "In April 2018, as a result of [The Office of Foreign Assets Control] adding Mr. Vekselberg to its specially designated nationals list, MIT suspended Mr. Vekselberg's Corporation membership."

According to Radio Free Europe, Vekselberg donated an unknown amount of money to MIT, but he was named a member of the William Barton Rogers Society, which is a listing of high-level donors, but not the Charter Society, which "recognizes those individuals whose philanthropic commitment to the Institute has reached or exceeded $1 million."

Vekselberg also holds ties to President Donald Trump's former personal attorney Michael Cohen, who earned roughly $500,000 for consulting services from the U.S. company Columbus Nova, which is headed by CEO Andrew Intrater, a U.S. citizen and Vekselberg's cousin.​

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After he was sanctioned by the U.S. along with six other Russians last April, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has distanced itself from Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg.
mit, oligarch, viktor vekselberg, sanctions, energy
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2019-34-14
Monday, 14 January 2019 01:34 PM
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