WORLD NEWS | Putin’s Former Judo Partner Says He Owns Palace Which Opposition Links To Russian Leader

BUCHAREST – Russian businessman Arkady Rotenberg said on Saturday he owns a huge palace in southern Russia which jailed Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny has linked to President Vladimir Putin.

Navalny and his anti – corruption foundation have published a video in which they allege the opulent mansion belonged to the Russian leader. The video has been viewed more than 103 million times.

Rotenberg, Putin’s former judo sparring partner who sold his stake in gas pipeline construction firm Stroygazmontazh in 2019 for a sum which RBG business daily put a some 75 billion roubles ($990 million), said he bought the palace two years ago.

‘Now it will no longer be a secret, I am the beneficiary’, Rothenberg said in a video published by Mash channel in Telegram. ‘There was a rather complicated facility, there were a lot of creditors, and I managed to become the beneficiary’.

He gave no further financial details of the purchase or how it had been funded.

Putin has already denied ownership of the palace.

Navalny was remanded in custody for 30 days on Jan. 18 for parole violations he says were trumped up and could face years in jail. He was arrested after flying back to Moscow from Germany, where he has been recovering from a nerve agent poisoning last August.

After Navalny’s arrest thousands of people joined unsanctioned protests across Russia last Russia last Saturday to demand the Kremlin release Navalny from jail.

Navalny’s supporters plan to hold further protest rallies across Russia this Sunday. Authorities have said they are illegal and have vowed to break them up.

Rotenberg was among the Russian officials and business executives blacklist by the United States and other Western powers in the aftermath of Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014.

Russian police on Saturday detained Sergey Smirnov, editor – in – chief of independent media outlet Mediazona, in Moscow on suspicion of taking part in last weekend’s Moscow protest, Mediazona said on Saturday.

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The United States called on Saudi Arabia on Wednesday to renounce its special and differential treatment in negotiations at the World Trade Organization (WTO), nothing the G20 member was designed as a high – income country by the World Bank. ‘Saudi Arabia is a wealthy and influential player in the global economy’, Washington said in … More U.S. Urges Saudi Arabia To Give Up Special Developing Nation Status At WTO

Saudi Arabia To Provide Free COVID-19 Vaccines In Pharmacies: Health Minister

Saudi Arabia will provide coronavirus vaccines in pharmacies around the Kingdom for free, the country’s Minister of Health  Dr. Tawfik al – Rabiah told Al Araiya on Wednesday. This comes as part of efforts to expand the ongoing inoculation campaign and facilitate access to vaccine sites, he added. Over 100 vaccine centers have opened around … More Saudi Arabia To Provide Free COVID-19 Vaccines In Pharmacies: Health Minister

BAFTA Announces All British Nominees For EE Rising Star Award

‘One Night In Miami’ actor Kingsley Ben – Adir and ‘The Personal History of David Cooperfield’ actress Morfydd Clark are among this year’s nominees for the EE Rising Star Award, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) said on Wednesday. The list of five contenders, all British, also includes ‘Rocks’ actress Bukky Bakray, Conrad … More BAFTA Announces All British Nominees For EE Rising Star Award


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