Monday, June 5, 2017

Bank at Center of U.S. Inquiry Projects Russian ‘Soft Power’


It has offices in a sleek Manhattan skyscraper. Its bonds are accessible to millions of American investors. And it holds ties to some of New York’s biggest banks. Despite this presence on Wall Street, detailed in previously unreported financial records, Vnesheconombank, or VEB, is no normal bank. It is wholly owned by the Russian state. It is intertwined with Russian intelligence. And the Russian prime minister is, by law, the chairman of its supervisory board. Now VEB is at the center of an international firestorm that threatens the Trump presidency because the bank’s chief — a prominent graduate of Russia’s spy school — met with Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law, during the presidential transition. That meeting is a focus of a federal counterintelligence investigation about possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

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