Concord, which is owned by Evgeny Prigozhin, a close associate of Vladimir Putin, is preparing a lawsuit against the U.S. authorities, accusing them of illegal prosecution and sanctions. According to Prigozhin’s statement, which was published by Concord’s press service, the amount of the lawsuit is $50 billion
The businessman's statement comes after the U.S. Department of Justice asked the court to drop charges against Russian companies Concord Management and Consulting and Concord Catering, which were accused by Washington of meddling in the United States election. The reason was that, according to the prosecution, the means, methods and sources of information that U.S. law enforcement agencies used in their work could be disclosed during the further proceedings. At the same time, the prosecutor considered that the continuation of litigation against companies not located in the United States would not serve "the interests of justice or national security".
According to Prigozhin, the U.S. authorities dropped the charges "for fear of publicity and a fair trial." According to him, at the next court hearing, Concord expected to "publicly show the ineptitude and politicization of the accusations," but Washington's refusal to charge it prevented it. "I think that the trial between Concord and the U.S. government is not over. Concord is currently preparing a lawsuit against the United States for illegal prosecution and sanctions worth $50 billion," he said.
Prigozhin and 12 other Russians were facing charges of illegal interference in the political process in the United States during the 2016 presidential campaign. According to the prosecution, Prigozhin’s Concord Management and Consulting and Concord Catering financed the St. Petersburg Internet Research Agency, the so-called “troll factory”, which tried to support Donald Trump. Despite the annulment of the charges against these companies, the prosecution of individuals, including Prigozhin, continues in the United States.
Evgeny Prigozhin is believed to be alsoassociated with private military companies operating in the Middle East and Africa. The businessman himself denies this. According to the American authorities, Prigozhin's companies are trying to influence the political situation not only in the United States, but also in other countries. Thus, in October 2019, Facebook announced that it had suspended three networks of accounts, pages and groups through which companies associated with Prigozhin tried to interfere in the internal politics of eight African countries.