- The Washington Times - Monday, March 18, 2019

A leading Russian oligarch with ties to former Trump associate Paul Manafort is speaking out about being sanctioned by the U.S., calling the allegations against him “very absurd.”

Oleg Deripaska, an associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin, told CNBC Sunday that he hasn’t had relations with Mr. Manafort in “seven or eight years … — no relation after 2011.”

Mr. Deripaska on Friday sued the U.S. Treasury Department to lift sanctions placed on him last year in connection with the investigation in to Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

“I am successful, from Russia. I know a lot of people,” he told CNBC. “I’ve been lucky that channels like you have always been interested in my opinion on the markets and on the economy. Yes, they branded me.”

In January of 2018, Mr. Deripaska sued Mr. Manafort and his business partner Rick Gates over an $18.9 million investment he said “was [improperly] taken as a credit and never returned.”



Mr. Deripaska has since been placed on a list of “Designated Russian Oligarchs” because of his ties to Mr. Manafort, who, according to court documents, was significantly indebted to the Russian billionaire.

In his complaint, Mr. Deripaska said his net worth has fallen 81 percent since being sanctioned and claimed he is a “victim of this country’s political infighting and ongoing reaction to Russia’s purported interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections.”

“[The] Justice Department will present facts,” he said on Sunday. “I hope that they will not hide behind national interests.”

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