In light of the rapidly developing news stories surrounding President Donald Trump, his former advisor Paul Manafort, and the alleged connection through his previous work on behalf of Russian businessman Oleg Deripaska, I spoke briefly with Damien Sharkov at Newsweek about how Vladimir Putin and most Russian oligarchs align their interests.
Robert Amsterdam, an attorney who represented Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky during his case to keep his Yukos oil company from a state takeover, says that in Russia, having close ties between wealthy businessmen and the Kremlin “is not just normal, it is mandatory.”
“There are no major Russian oligarchs now that are not in some level of collaboration with the Russian government,” Amsterdam says. According to him, while some oligarchs are personally closer to Putin than others, most feel that their own interests tend to align with those of the current government.
“What you have happening in Russia is oligarchs spend money on initiatives to benefit Russia, which would in turn benefit them,” he says, though noting that he has “not kept tabs” on Deripaska.