The founder of Rusal and the owner of the GAZ Group believes that publications in The Nation, The Times and The Telegraph became the reason for the introduction of personal sanctions against him in 2018. Contrary to a peculiar tradition, he decided not to defend his honest name in London and not in New York, but in the Arbitration Court of the Krasnodar Territory. What is it: a simple human resentment or subtle calculation?
There are two funny things about this business. First: all three controversial material was published over 10 years ago. Up to this point, Deripaska, apparently, did not try to prove their unreliability. Secondly, a lawsuit was filed against two British newspapers and an American magazine in Russia. It would seem that the “aluminum king” is not accustomed to suing abroad, but in this case for some reason he decided to trust the Russian justice.
It is possible that the case will drag on for a long time. It follows from the file cabinet of the Krasnodar court that the first hearing on the lawsuit of the billionaire is scheduled for December 12. What exactly Oleg Deripaska decided to challenge is not yet clear. But we can assume that his lawsuit is linked, inter alia, to The Nation article of October 1, 2008. The protagonist of the material is not so much the founder of Rusal as the late American Senator John McCain. In the fall of 2008, he was a Republican candidate in the presidential election, but lost to Barack Obama.
So, on the eve of the election, The Nation reporters Mark Ames and Ari Berman, in fact, published incriminating evidence on McCain.
In their article, they argue that contrary to his Russophobic rhetoric, the senator could have close relations with Russian businessmen and politicians. According to the authors, one of the results of this cooperation was a referendum on the independence of Montenegro.
Ames and Berman write that lobbying firm Davis Manafort, owned by McCain’s campaign head in the United States, Rick Davis, and the future protagonist of the Russian interference in the 2016 election campaign, Paul Manafort, actively participated in promoting the referendum in 2006. The services of this company were allegedly paid by representatives of Russian business, who bought up "huge pieces of industry" in Montenegro. In particular, it is known that in mid-2005, Deripaska’s structures acquired a large KAP aluminum smelter.
Apparently, Davis and Manafort worked in the Balkans not without the knowledge of John McCain. Confirmation of this can serve as a photograph from a party on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the senator, which was also published by The Nation. The party was organized in August 2006 on a yacht in the Bay of Kotor. According to the American magazine, that same day one of the largest Queen K yachts in the world, owned by Oleg Deripaska, moored in the bay.
Ames and Berman write that allegedly this was not the first meeting of US Senator McCain and the Russian billionaire. Rick Davis introduced them in January 2006 to a villa in Davos, Switzerland.
In addition to this story, in their article, The Nation journalists recalled the “criminal aluminum wars” in Russia in the 90s, how Oleg Deripaska was blocked from entering the United States in 1998, and how he repeatedly spoke with FBI agents. They did not bypass the work of Paul Manafort on Viktor Yanukovych during the first Ukrainian Maidan, which, apparently, was also paid for with Russian money.
In 2016, Manafort led the campaign for the current U.S. President Donald Trump. Actually, this man’s track record has become a reason for hysteria around the “Russian interference” in the American election, which has not subsided so far.
And in the fall of 2019, Oleg Deripaska, apparently, wanted to disavow publications in the English-language media through the Arbitration Court of the Krasnodar Territory. It is likely that the court will side with the plaintiff. But this is unlikely to help the billionaire get out of Western sanctions. Then why did Deripaska file this lawsuit?
Information about the claims of Oleg Deripaska against The Nation, The Telegraph and The Times appeared almost simultaneously with a loud statement by the head of Rostec, Sergei Chemezov. In an interview with RBC, the head of the corporation made it clear that the state does not plan to buy from the Deripaska GAZ Group, which has been sanctioned, because he wants to get too high a price for the troubled asset. Apparently, the lawsuit with English-speaking journalists should strengthen the image of Deripaska, the victim of Western sanctions, so that it would be easier for him to fix things at the expense of state money.
But what about his words that he, as a great patriot, is ready to give everything to the state on demand? He transferred control at Rusal to the American shareholders without question in order to save the company from sanctions. It seems that resentment for the lost money kills any high feelings.