Putin. Corruption. An independent white paper
The Rotenberg brothers, Arkady and Boris, are typical examples of what it means to be friends with Vladimir Putin. They have been able to amass billions during the years their boyhood friend and judo partner from St. Petersburg has ruled Russia:
Little-known entrepreneurs in the 1990s, the Rotenbergs are now dollar billionaires, the largest suppliers of pipes to Gazprom, and major pipeline construction contractors. Having bought up Gazprom’s construction assets at a rock-bottom price, the Rotenbergs set up a company called StroiGasMontazh. By 2008, this company was winning tender after tender for pipeline construction. [Source: Gazprom Looks After Its Own, Vedomosti, 10.09.2009]. StroiGasMontazh won the tender to build the North Stream pipeline, despite the cost being three times that of building similar pipelines in Europe! Despite the fact that our workers are paid far less than European ones.
Without even going through a tendering process, the Rotenbergs were given the contract to build the epoch-making Sakhalin-Khabarovsk-Vladivostok pipeline – at the astronomical price of 210 billion roubles.
The Rotenberg were also given the Dzhugba-Lazarevskoye-Sochi Olympic pipeline contract without having to go to tender.