Abramovich companies supplied materials for Russian military for decade - report

i24NEWS

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Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich applauds at Stamford Bridge in London, the United Kingdom, on August 15, 2016.
Justin Tallis/AFPRussian billionaire Roman Abramovich applauds at Stamford Bridge in London, the United Kingdom, on August 15, 2016.

Abramovich's company received over $2.8m between 2015 and 2018 from a Russian factory that produces ammunition

A group of companies Evraz, owned by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, supplied steel and explosives to weapons manufacturers of the Russian military, a report published on Wednesday said. 

Despite the UK-registered steel company denying accusations that their cooperation with the Russian government could be linked to weapons production, the contracts show that Evraz’s subsidiaries in Russia have supplied the country’s military for nearly a decade, according to the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP).   

After verifying the contracts from Russia’s public procurement website, OCCRP discovered that Abramovich’s company received over $2.8 million between 2015 and 2018 from a state-owned factory that produces ammunition to deliver materials used in explosives. 

In 2018 Evraz also received $1.4 million for their steel supplies to Uralvagonzavod, a Russian factory that among other transport machinery makes battle tanks. The company's spokesperson denied the allegations. 

“Evraz in Russia supplies products to infrastructure and construction projects for civilian use only,” the company's statement was quoted as saying. 

Overall OCCRP’s Russian Asset Tracker project identified over $10 billion worth of assets belonging to Abramovich. However, it has become difficult to link his companies to the manufacturers of the weapons used by the Russian army in Ukraine after the Russian government banned all publications of state contracts related to national security and defense in January.

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Britain imposed sanctions against Abramovich along with other Russian oligarchs in March shortly after Moscow's invasion of Ukraine. The former Chelsea football club owner was targeted by Western sanctions over his ties with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and allegations that his companies could have been involved in weapons production.

Despite those accusations, Abramovich participated in the negotiations between Moscow and Kyiv in March before the peace process stalled following the escalation of the Russian offensive. Several Israeli institutions also cut ties with the oligarch, who made large donations to Jewish educational and cultural organizations.  

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