Oleg Deripaska, a Russian billionaire aluminum magnate and Kremlin insider, has a business relationship with Paul Manafort that dates back more than a decade.
Deripaska has a current estimated worth of $6.2 billion, and he has been described in the leaked U.S. diplomatic cables as “among the 2-3 oligarchs Putin turns to on a regular basis.” For over two decades, Deripaska has presided over a vast business empire anchored by Rusal, the world’s second-largest aluminum producer. Deripaska has been denied U.S. visas numerous times due to concerns over allegations of his connections to Russian organized crime, which he has denied. He was able to travel to the United States in 2000, 2005, and 2009, although he was reportedly interviewed by the FBI during these trips. Deripaska allegedly offered to cooperate with the congressional committees that are investigating the Russian hacking of the 2016 elections in exchange for full immunity; this offer was declined. Deripaska’s name has come up numerous times in the context of the Russia investigation due to his relationship with Paul Manafort, who reportedly signed a $10-million contract with Deripaska to essentially lobby on the Kremlin’s behalf in the United States. Litigation filed in the Cayman Islands alleges that Manafort owes Deripaska $19 million dollars as a result of a failed deal to buy Ukrainian telecommunications assets, which Manafort has disputed. Recent reports indicate that in addition to the $19 million, Deripaska loaned Manafort $26 million through several Cyprus-based shell companies. Deripaska has not commented on the matter, while Manafort’s spokesman has denied that Manafort is in debt to Deripaska. The sum of the known business deals between Manafort and Deripaska totals around $60 million. Prior to Trump’s acceptance of the presidential nomination, Manafort reportedly offered to provide private briefings on the election to Deripaska’s camp. There has been no evidence suggesting that Deripaska received or replied to this offer. (Photo credit: Shasha Mordovets / Getty Images)