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“Contributions have also been given to the Conservatives by British lobbyists and PR firms working for Russian oligarchs and even the Kremlin.
New Century Media, a PR agency contracted by the Russian government to manage a marketing campaign in Britain to present a “positive image” of Russia, has donated more than $200,000 to Britain’s ruling party“. (VOA-Dettmer)
“Britain’s Ruling Conservatives Under Pressure to Return Russian Donations
March 11, 2018 9:14 AM, by Jamie Dettmer
British Prime Minister Theresa May is under pressure to return millions of dollars given by Russian oligarchs and their lobbyists to her ruling Conservative party. One of the biggest donors is the wife of a former Russian deputy finance minister, once nicknamed “Putin’s banker.”
When May took office 18 months ago she promised that Britain’s Conservatives would “sup with a long spoon” and distance themselves from Russian donors, but electoral commission records analyzed by Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper show Russian-linked donations have continued.
Contributions have also been given to the Conservatives by British lobbyists and PR firms working for Russian oligarchs and even the Kremlin. New Century Media, a PR agency contracted by the Russian government to manage a marketing campaign in Britain to present a “positive image” of Russia, has donated more than $200,000 to Britain’s ruling party.
Opposition lawmakers called Sunday for the Conservatives to return the donations, arguing they raise doubts about the government’s determination to retaliate for what the country’s intelligence agencies believe was a Kremlin-approved attempt on March 4 to kill on British soil Sergei Skripal, a former Russian military intelligence officer who spied for the British, and his 33-year-old daughter.
British officials suspect the nerve agent used — likely either modified Sarin or VX — was developed near Moscow at the Yasenevo laboratory run by Russia’s intelligence service the FSB. Russian officials have dismissed the claims of FSB or Kremlin involvement in the assassination bid that has left father and daughter critically ill. They say the allegations are wild and hysterical, part of a Western campaign to demonize Russia.
The donations to the Conservatives “call into question how seriously Theresa May will be willing to challenge Russia’s conduct when her party is literally being bankrolled by some close allies of the Kremlin,” said Nia Griffith, the opposition Labour Party’s defense spokesperson.
In a statement, Britain’s Conservatives said, “All donations are properly and transparently declared to the Electoral Commission.”
The most generous Russian donors to the Tories include Lubov Chernukhin, wife of former Putin finance minister, Vladimir Chernukhin, who has given more than $600,000 to the Conservatives since 2010. She bid successfully at a party fundraising auction to play tennis with former Prime Minister David Cameron and Britain’s foreign secretary, Boris Johnson. Her bid was $200,000.
Conservative officials say that Chernukhin, now a British citizen, is not a “Putin crony”, arguing her husband fell out with Russian leader Vladimir Putin after being dismissed from his job running a state-owned bank.
On Monday, Britain’s National Security Council is due to meet to discuss the latest findings of the Skripal investigation and to consider what retaliatory measures to take against Russia.
Party insiders say Johnson and Defense Minister Gavin Williamson are expected to demand tough retaliation. Both privately have expressed frustration with Theresa May’s order to ministers not to rush judgment and to avoid pre-judging the investigation’s conclusions.” https://www.voanews.com/a/britain-ruling-conservative-under-pressure-to-return-donations/4291634.html (Emphasis our own.)
While Deripaska is suing Chernukhin, lawsuits have been used for money-laundering. Like with Trump, lawsuits appear a favourite pastime for Deripaska. The trial is supposed to be sometime this year.
“Former MI6 chief helps Chernukhin fight Deripaska
John Scarlett, the former head of MI6, is at the heart of a legal battle in London between rival Russian oligarchs Vladimir Chernukhin and Oleg Deripaska.”