Russian billionaire confirms he supported Kremlin's agent Butina

The representative of the Russian businessman, Konstantin Nikolayev, confirmed that before the beginning of 2015, Nikolayev provided financial support to Russian citizen Maria Butina  who is accused of working as a foreign agent without registration in the US, the newspaper Kommersant reports. However, the spokesman emphasized that the financial aid was terminated after she left Russia.

“Between 2012 and 2014, he provided targeted funding to Mrs. Butina's social organization (the Right to Bear Arms movement) to support her projects in Russia... His interest and support were limited solely to projects in Russia and only within the given period,” the representative told the media.

Butina talked about Nikolayev’s financial support during her speech to the United States Senate Intelligence Committee. According to her, financial aid was contributed for Right to Bear Arms.

Nikolayev’s representative rejects the existence of any relationship with US President Donald Trump’s team. At the same time, The Washington Post reported that Andrei Nikolayev, the businessman’s son who studied in the US, was a volunteer at Trump's headquarters in 2016. According to the newspaper, he was seen at the Trump Hotel in Washington on the eve of the inauguration.

The FBI accuses Maria Butina of participating in a plot to conduct activities in favor of a foreign state on the territory of the United States, as well as failure to register with the United States Department of Justice. Butina was arrested in Washington on July 16.

According to the indictment, she contacted the “famous Russian businessman” who had close ties with the Kremlin. The FBI identified a Russian official from the Central Bank board as the curator of her lobbying activities. Butina had worked before as an assistant to Aleksandr Torshin, the Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank of Russia.

Konstantin Nikolayev is co-owner of the Globaltrans railway company. Forbes estimates his worth at $1.2 billion dollars.

  Russia, Maria Butina, Bear arms movement