Vladimir Putin Friend Pal Potanin a significant beneficiary of wartime activities, should, in fact, be a top contender for inclusion on the West’s list of individuals subject to sanctions. However, it appears that Europe is still deliberating on this matter.
Moscow – Roman Abramovich, Alisher Usmanov, and Alexei Mordashov are just a few of the Russian oligarchs facing sanctions from Western nations. Their wealth has been seized, and their luxury possessions like yachts and jewellery have been taken away. Since the start of Russia’s aggressive war, the USA, Great Britain, and the EU have confiscated substantial sums in the billions.
Vladimir Putin Friend Pal Potanin
However, it appears that one individual has managed to evade scrutiny: Vladimir Potanin, a close associate of Vladimir Putin, is reaping significant benefits from Russia’s aggressive actions in Ukraine. Surprisingly, he has not faced any sanctions. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it was initially only Canada and Australia imposed punitive actions against Potanin. Several months later, Great Britain and the USA followed suit. Strangely, the European Union has still not taken any steps to sanction him.
Oligarch Potanin benefits from the war of aggression against Ukraine
The oligarch managed to expand his wealth even amidst the Ukraine conflict. According to sources, he has now grown his fortune to $23.7 billion (approximately 22 billion euros). One strategy he employed to achieve this was acquiring assets from Western investors or fellow oligarchs who had fallen out of favor and were forced to divest due to the war.
As an illustration, the 61-year-old billionaire reacquired Rosbank, a bank he had previously sold to Société Générale, at a significantly reduced price, turning it into a profitable venture. Additionally, he acquired Tinkoff Bank, the second-largest private bank in Russia, whose founder, Oleg Tinkow, had strongly criticized Putin during the conflict. This acquisition, as reported by Reuters, has positioned Potanin as a major player in the Russian financial sector, all while not making substantial financial investments.
European industry can hardly do without raw materials from Potanin’s company
The EU’s reluctance to impose sanctions on him likely stems from a different source: the wealthy oligarch possesses vital raw materials that European industries depend on. Potanin, who leads Nornickel, one of the world’s largest nickel producers and a crucial Russian corporation, plays a significant role in this context.
According to reports from Welt, his Nornickel group still supplies 38 percent of the global palladium, 17 percent of the nickel, and 10 percent of the platinum market. European industries have a substantial need for these resources. Notably, the automotive sector relies heavily on nickel, as explained by Manager Magazin. However, various other industries also require these raw materials. For instance, nickel alloys are essential in wind, solar, and geothermal energy production, while palladium finds applications in dentistry and hydrogen technologies.
This is likely the reason why the EU has refrained from imposing sanctions on Nornickel, as reported by Manager Magazin. Moreover, previous punitive actions against the Russian aluminum company Rusal resulted in significant disruptions in the raw materials markets.