Aras Agalarov is a Russian real-estate mogul and trusted associate of Vladimir Putin who is often referred to as the “Trump of Russia” for his real-estate practices.
Agalarov, along with his pop-star son Emin, originally pushed for the June 9, 2016, Trump Tower meeting through Emin’s publicist Rob Goldstone. Agalarov has benefited considerably from contracts with the Russian government, and has forged a close partnership with Donald Trump. Agalarov hosted the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, for which he paid Trumpbetween $14 million and $20 million. Aras Agalarov and Emin Agalarov regularly attended business meetings and social events with Trump throughout the pageant weekend. Together with Herman Gref, Putin’s economy minister from 2000 to 2007, Agalarov organized a two-hour dinner with Trump and a dozen of Russia’s top businessmen. Agalarov reportedly served as a liaison between Trump and Putin during Trump’s trip to Moscow, even delivering Trump a gift from Putin after Putin was unable to attend a meeting before the Miss Universe pageant. (Photo credit: Sasha Mordovets / Getty Images)