A billionaire spokesman confirmed that he maintained contact with Butina, but did not answer the question about material support.
Detained in the US Russian woman Maria Butina financially supported the Russian billionaire Konstantin Nikolayev, the newspaper The Washington Post reported , citing sources familiar with the case materials. According to the newspaper, Nikolaev has business interests in the United States.
Butina told the US Senate that Nikolayev financed a group to support the legalization of weapons, which she headed, the newspaper claims. As the press secretary of Nikolayev said, he maintained contact with Butina from 2012 to 2014. He did not answer the question about material support, but noted that the relationship of a businessman with the Russian authorities can not be described as “deep.”
In addition, according to the spokesman, the businessman never met with Trump. Two interlocutors of The Washington Post claim that Nikolayev was seen during the inauguration of the US president at the Trump International Hotel in Washington. Another source said that Andrei Nikolaev, a student in the United States, participated in the campaign in support of Trump in 2016. A spokesman for the businessman explained that he did it “for the sake of experience”, like other students in the US.
According to Forbes, Nikolaev’s fortune is 1.2 billion dollars, he takes 1999 place in the list of billionaires.
Maria Butin, a member of the board of the Right to Arms organization, was arrested in the US on July 16 for work as an agent on assignment from a “high-ranking Russian official.” She was charged, including in an attempt to “penetrate into organizations that have influence on US policy.” Butina faces up to five years in prison.