Sanctioned Russian oligarch linked to Cohen has vast US ties

WASHINGTON (AP) — For more than two decades, Viktor Vekselberg was known by American executives as someone who got deals done — sometimes with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s blessing.

In May, Vekselberg’s name was tied to payments President Donald Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen made to a porn star. But the oligarch has long worked to extend his influence in the U.S.

Together with an American cousin who heads New York investment firm Columbus Nova, Vekselberg once backed a $1.6 million lobbying campaign to aid Russian interests in Washington.

Now, his cousin’s firm is dealing with Treasury Department financial sanctions lodged in April against Vekselberg.

Columbus Nova spokesmen say the sanctions indefinitely halted Velselberg’s financial relationship with Columbus Nova. They say the U.S. firm is also in discussions with Treasury to recover blocked assets.

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