Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Putin's loyal friends given Moscow's most expensive flats

Putin's friends can enjoy the lights of Moscow from the city's most expensive  flats.

To be a friend of dictator Vladimir Putin comes with certain benefits: 
House No. 3 on Shvedskiy Tupik, or Swedish Blind Alley, is under the protection of Russia’s version of the U.S. Secret Service because many of its occupants are Putin’s most powerful allies, including OAO Rosneft Chief Executive Officer Igor Sechin, VTB Group CEO Andrey Kostin, Gunvor Group oil-trading billionaire Gennady Timchenko and former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, according to two residents who asked not to be identified because the information is private. ---
Other Putin colleagues with apartments in the building include Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Deputy Prime Minister Sergey Prikhodko, OAO Transneft CEO Nikolay Tokarev, OAO Sovcomflot Chairman Ilya Klebanov and former Communications Minister Leonid Reiman, one resident said.---
Two of the building’s three dozen apartments, one 1,000 square meters (10,800 square feet) and the other 846 square meters, have been vacant for more than a year and are priced at $50 million and $42 million, respectively, according to Justified Quality Estate and Mayfair Properties, the agents for the unidentified sellers.
That makes them the most expensive flats in Moscow per meter, said Alexander Pypin, chief analyst at real estate researcher
“Those prices protect the inhabitants from outsiders,” said Olga Kryshtanovskaya, a former member of Putin’s United Russia party who studies the elite at the Russian Academy of Sciences. “Residents are guaranteed to never meet anyone they would consider rabble.” --
It’s not clear if Putin’s allies bought the apartments or got them for free. Once an official is assigned a flat, it usually remains state property for a year before the occupant is allowed to privatize it at no cost, Kryshtanovskaya said.
Read the entire article here.

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