The former adviser to Donald Trump and Viktor Yanukovich, Paul Manafort, forgot about his friendship with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. And also about 100 million dollars entrusted to him, traces of which were lost in the steppes of Ukraine. In 2014, lawyers of the Russian billionaire, the sole beneficiary of Basic Element company Oleg Deripaska, informed the American court that when they tried to get money back from Paul Manafort and his partner Rick Gates, they simply "disappeared."
Paul Manaforte represents a new generation of American political strategists and consultants who rose in the wake of anti-communism in the 1980s, led by President Ronald Reagan and his administration. Their task was to fan the flame of a global war with a world evil - in the role of which then the apologist of communism, the Soviet Union, acted. Accordingly, the efforts of American consultants, ready to advance the leaders of the liberation movement against the USSR, found warm support in the White House, regardless of the moral side of the matter. The collapse of the USSR and its allies left these people not destiny, but only for a while. Very soon their skills were useful for cleaning up the reputation of the new elite from the old Soviet states.
In this sense, Oleg Deripaska, who emerged victorious from the brutal aluminum wars of the 1990s, was an ideal client for Paul Manafort.
Rothschild, Deripaska and Foreign Policy
With Oleg Deripaska Manaforta brought together Nath Rothschild (Nathaniel Philip Victor James Rothschild). This happened in 2003 at the hedge fund office in New York. The British financier had a great name, powerful connections and a reputation that any "new Russian" could envy. It is not surprising that Oleg Deripaska felt a craving for this representative of the financial clan. Especially Nat Rothschild actively engaged in investment in the countries of the former USSR.
It was Rothschild, as The Atlantic magazine writes, hired Manaforte as a consultant to "one Georgian politician in exile." The name of this person is not mentioned in the article, but judging from the description (a former KGB operative accused of preparing for the assassination of Eduard Shevardnadze during the period when he was president of Georgia), it concerns Igor Giorgadze, who left Georgia, settled in Moscow, but still does not lose hope to return to their homeland.
Giorgadze is named friend of Oleg Deripaska, which gives the Russian Aluminum King the geopolitical charm of the Georgian opposition sponsor and the beneficiary of a possible victory in the elections in that country. Another front of the independent foreign policy of Deripaska was the same Montenegro, in which, through the efforts of Manafort Rick Davis's partner, a referendum on independence was organized. American journalists believe that this referendum was financed by the Russian oligarch.
The Russian authorities, in the opinion of the authors of the article, supported Deripaska's initiatives and even helped him to enter the US, providing him with a diplomatic passport after the Russian oligarch was refused a visa.
Black Sea Scam
Outside of the grandiose geopolitical schemes, the cooperation between Deripaska and Manafort was much less effective. Simply put it ended in complete failure, although in the beginning it looked quite promising. In 2006, Paul Manafort decided to capitalize his political ties and gave birth to
Pericles (Pericles) - as he called the private investment fund, created for work in Russia and Ukraine. Then he persuaded Oleg Deripaska to invest $ 100 million in the project. This amount did not look then too serious for a billionaire whose wealth was estimated in 2008 at $ 28 billion. Manafort eventually received the money, and his first investment was an investment of 18.9 million in a project called "Black Sea". For this decision, Manafort generously rewarded himself with a commission of $ 7.35 million US dollars.
And then the 2008 crisis happened. Oleg Deripaska was on the verge of bankruptcy, and the state had to save the oligarch and his assets. At that moment, Deripaska's representatives suggested that they liquidate the money that was not born on time, Pericles, and return the money from the sale of assets to the investor. Paul Manafort agreed, but this did not cause any real action, and in 2011 he simply stopped responding to the requests of an old friend. Moreover, at that moment the American consultant, together with all his investments, was under the powerful (as it seemed then) political roof of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. The consultant together with the president went to the bath, bathed naked in the river and felt the whole world at their feet. But soon the situation again returned to zero.
And here, in this zero territory of Paul Manafort, the lawyers of Oleg Deripaska were waiting. However, as a result of the investigation, he himself began to suspect that the "Black Sea" was in fact a "Panama", in the sense that no one had bought any shares in this project on behalf of Pericles. To turn such a banal scam with the winner of aluminum wars - this, probably, can be considered the pinnacle of Manafort's success, to which the hero went throughout his political career. In the current toxic political atmosphere, Oleg Deripaska, with his demands, almost looks like an extortionist from an American citizen who, moreover, is unlikely to be able to repay the "rented" money. And money is very much needed for Deripaska.
Ways of salvation
Despite the quite successful IPO of En + in London, the financial position of the aluminum king remains extremely tense. The aggregate debt of En + Holding as of June 31, 2017 was $ 13.8 billion (with a projected EBITDA of $ 3 billion). The presence of the debt problem, apparently, does not stop, but, on the contrary, only pushes Deripaska to expansion and risky decisions. One of them is the intention to continue the construction of the Taishet aluminum smelter, which was frozen in 2008 after nearly 800 million were spent on it. To realize the project it is necessary to have the same amount, and it will be able to pay back only at the current (high) prices for aluminum . There are no guarantees that this will be so.
There is another tool that never failed the aluminum king. This is the rate for the devaluation of the ruble. Revenues from export sales in such a scenario become very attractive even at not too high prices, since it allows you to easily pay for electricity costs and labor of factory workers. There is reason to believe that the rate on reducing the value of the ruble will become a geopolitical hit of Oleg Deripaska this season. Not for nothing did he begin to complain that a strong ruble is damaging his business.