Tags: Russia Probe | Trump Administration | wilbur ross | putin | son-in-law | navigator | sibur

Ross Hits Back at Russian Investment Claim

(The Guardian/YouTube)

By    |   Sunday, 05 November 2017 02:18 PM

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is reportedly connected to business with Vladimir Putin's son-in-law in links uncovered by The Guardian's "Paradise Papers," which claim to reveal overseas tax secrets of politicians and the wealthy.

According to the report, President Donald Trump's commerce secretary holds a stake in shipping company Navigator, which "operates a lucrative partnership with Sibur, a Russian gas company part-owned by Kirill Shamalov, the husband of Putin’s daughter Katerina Tikhonova."

Ross' connections to Navigator were held after taking office, and some of Sibur's operatives are currently under U.S. sanctions and "cronies of Putin," The Guardian reported.

“I don't understand why anybody would decide to maintain this kind of relationship going into a senior government position," Daniel Fried, who served in the George W. Bush administration, told The Guardian. “What is he thinking?”

Navigator has been paid $68 million by Sibur since 2014, which is when the United States and European Union impose sanctions on Russia for Putin's aggression in Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea.

James Rockas, Ross' press secretary, issued a statement minimizing the reported link to Russia through Navigator, saying "Secretary Ross recuses himself from any matters focused on transoceanic shipping vessels."

Rockas told The New York Times that Navitagor's relationship with Sibur started before Ross joined in March 2012. Ross never mett with the Russian oligarchs who are Sibur's major shareholders, he added.

The Times cited public records that show Ross' company became a major investor in Navigator in November 2011, which was three months before Navigator chartered any ships to Sibur. 

"Sibur was not under sanctions at the time the contract was signed and is still not subject to sanctions," Rockas told the Times

Further, he said, Ross "recuses himself from any matters focused on transoceanic shipping vessels, but has been generally supportive of the administration’s sanctions of Russian and Venezuelan entities."

"Secretary Ross has never had to seek, nor received, any ethics exemption, and he works closely with Commerce Department ethics officials to ensure the highest ethical standards," Rockas said.

The optics are still concerning for the administration, according to Trump's critics.

“I'm frankly surprised – maybe I shouldn’t be, given that with this administration there seems to be a Russian in every closet," Obama administration State Department senior official Peter Harrell told The Guardian.

The "Paradise Papers" is a special probe into offshore financials by The Guardian and 95 media partners worldwide, per the report.

© 2019 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
Newsfront
Rockas told The New York Times that Navitagor's relationship with Sibur started before Ross joined in March 2012. Ross never mett with the Russian oligarchs who are Sibur's major shareholders, he added.
wilbur ross, putin, son-in-law, navigator, sibur, russia
402
2017-18-05
Sunday, 05 November 2017 02:18 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved