EXCLUSIVE: Russian oligarch with close ties to Putin met with Hunter Biden in Moscow over potential investment deal before meeting TWICE more in New York and DC – and is now sanctioned by the UK (but NOT the US)
Vladimir Yevtushenkov, 73, owns a company which reportedly supplied Putin’s forces with drones used for deadly bombing raids in Ukraine and until last year owned key Russian defense contractor RTI.
But while he was added to the UK and Australian sanctions lists this month but remains one of a handful of oligarchs unsanctioned by the Biden administration.
Hunter’s multiple meetings and apparent business deals with him are the latest in a troubling web of his connections to Putin-linked mega-rich individuals which has emerged from his abandoned laptop.
Emails show the president’s son and his business partners were courting Yevtushenkov for an investment in their real estate company in 2012 and 2013.
Emails obtained by DailyMail.com reveal Hunter Biden had courted Vladimir Yevtushenkov (right), a Russian oligarch with close ties to Putin who was added to the sanctions list in the UK and Australia earlier this month
Yevtushenkov – who made his fortune first in Russian telecoms in the 1990s and later oil – has formed a close relationship with Putin (pictured together in 2006) over the last two decades
Rosemont Realty was founded in 2008 by Hunter’s Yale schoolmates: Devon Archer and former secretary of state John Kerry’s stepson Chris Heinz.
Hunter joined the firm’s advisory board in 2010 and was a part owner, earning him hundreds of thousands.
Emails show that in 2011, his now-jailed business partner Archer was traveling to Russia, staying in luxury hotels and dining on bear meat, laying the foundations for future real estate deals that he believed could be lucrative for the firm.
In November that year Archer wrote to an associate: ‘Moscow is going great… It does look like I will be back quite a bit based on our initial response to the real estate fund pitch.’
Three months later Hunter got involved, scheduling a trip to the Russian capital for a dinner with Yevtushenkov at the headquarters of his company Sistema on February 16, 2012, according to emails and calendar entries on his laptop.
Documents published this week by journalist Vicky Ward on her blog suggest the Russian billionaire then took a trip to the US for meetings with Hunter and his Rosemont Realty business partners.
A Sistema itinerary translated from Russian, which Ward reported was leaked to her from a source close to Yevtushenkov’s company, lists a March 14, 2012 ‘breakfast with Hunter Biden’ at the Ritz-Carlton in New York.
The president’s son and his now-jailed business partner Devon Archer – pictured far left with Joe and Hunter Biden in 2014 – sought an investment from the billionaire in their company Rosemont Realty in 2012 and 2013
Emails obtained by DailyMail.com show Archer was staying in luxury hotels and dining on bear meat in Russia in 2011, hoping to lay foundations for future real estate deals for the firm
Hunter got involved in the deal months later, scheduling a trip to the Russian capital to meet Yevtushenkov
Calendar entries show Hunter had a scheduled dinner at the headquarters of the billionaire oligarch’s company Sistema on February 16, 2012
Later that day Yevtushenkov flew to Dallas, Texas and had another ‘breakfast with Rosemont Realty’ at the city’s Ritz-Carlton on March 15, according to the itinerary.
Eight months later, Archer wrote an email outlining two January 2013 meetings with Hunter and the oligarch in Washington DC, part of an apparent pitch of a commercial real estate deal for Rosemont Realty.
‘I am meeting with Evtushenkov for dinner Sunday evening January 27th in DC at Cafe Milano and then meeting in my DC offices Monday the 28th at 10am,’ Archer wrote, using the alternative spelling for the oligarch’s name.
‘We are going to be reviewing our commercial office investment program with him and his team. From there we are going to see one of our properties in the afternoon called Dulles View, a $110mm office property in the DC sub market, as an example of our portfolio holdings.
‘Joining me will be one of my Partners in Rosemont Seneca and an Advisory Board Member of Rosemont Realty, Hunter Biden.’
Archer’s email was to Kazakhstan banker Marc Holtzman, a key fixer for Archer and Hunter.
Holtzman replied: ‘Vladimir mentioned this. I raved about you and will see him next week in Davos so will reemphasize this.’
Archer forwarded the reply to Hunter, noting Holtzman’s close relationship to Yevtushenkov.
‘FYI…Marc Holtzman was on the [IT company] PGRX Board with me before I left in December. He’s also the Head of the Finance Committee on Evtushenkov’s, Sistema Board of Directors, which benefits us,’ Archer wrote to Hunter.
Russian tycoon Vladimir Yevtushenkov, owner of Sistema Holding, has reportedly supplied Putin’s forces with drones used for deadly bombing raids in Ukraine. The two are pictured together in a 2010 file photo
A Sistema itinerary translated from Russian lists a March 14, 2012 ‘breakfast with Hunter Biden’ at the Ritz-Carlton in New York
Yevtushenkov then had another ‘breakfast with Rosemont Realty’ at the city’s Ritz-Carlton on March 15, according to the itinerary
Hunter and the billionaire business oligarch apparently met twice at the Ritz-Carlton New York (pictured) in March 2012
Holtzman was part of a troubling nexus of Putin-linked business magnates with whom Hunter has dealt.
Hunter invited Holtzman and other Kazakh businessmen to a 2015 meeting at the same spot, Cafe Milano, where Joe Biden secretly met them – a fact at first denied by the White House until photos of the then-vice president at the event emerged.
Hunter also invited billionaire Elena Baturina, the wife of late, corrupt Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov, to the 2015 Cafe Milano meeting with Joe.
The year before, Baturina had wired $3.5million to Rosemont Seneca Thornton, a company Hunter was involved in, according to financial documents uncovered by a senate investigation.
Ward’s Thursday report included claims from sources close to Yevtushenkov that he is Baturina’s brother-in-law, and that Baturina introduced the oligarch to Hunter.
A spokesman for Yevtushenkov said he ‘is not related to Elena Baturina, and never has been’, and that ‘he has never had any joint projects or business dealings with her’ – but did not comment on the claim that she introduced him to Hunter.
After Hunter and Archer’s January 2013 meeting with Yevtushenkov where they pitched Rosemont Realty’s office building investments, Hunter’s diary lists a follow-up call with ‘Sistema’ on January 29.
It is unclear what deals, if any, were sealed between Rosemont and Yevtushenkov.
A spokesman for the Russians, Peter Morley, confirmed the meetings with Hunter but said there was ‘no follow-up’.
‘Vladimir Yevtushenkov met Hunter Biden among a number of other meetings as part of a routine business trip to the US to scout potential investment opportunities.
‘There was no follow-up from the meeting and Mr Yevtushenkov has not met or had any contact with Hunter Biden since then,’ Morley said.
Up until last year, Yevtushenkov owned key Russian defense contractor RTI. He is picture meeting with Putin in 2009
Pro-Ukraine protesters demonstrate outside a property believed to belong to Russian oligarch Vladimir Yevtushenkov, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in London
A 75 per cent stake in the company was bought that year by a Chinese investment firm. By 2017, Hunter had sold his stake.
Yevtushenkov made his fortune first in Russian telecoms in the 1990s and later oil.
In September 2014 the oligarch ran into legal trouble in Russia, and was placed under house arrest in a money laundering case that was widely seen as politically motivated.
Russia experts said at the time the prosecution was in fact an attempt to nationalize Russia’s oil industry, a large portion of which was controlled by Yevtushenkov’s company Bashneft.
But the charges were dropped in 2016 and the businessman, worth $9billion at his peak, rebuilt his relationship with Putin – even reportedly spending a night with him on cots at a Siberian military facility, snowed in by a heavy storm.
His daughter, Tatiana, has served as an adviser to Russia’s state-owned Sperbank.
His company Kronshtadt, part of Sistema Group, has reportedly supplied Orion drones for Russian forces, used in deadly bombing raids in Ukraine this year.
Pictures of an armed Orion drone downed by Ukrainian forces were posted on social media by the account Ukraine Weapons Tracker on April 8, and Forbes reported three videos showing Orion drones taking out Ukrainian vehicles.
By April 9 the defense analysis blog Oryx had documented six drone strikes in Ukraine by Orion drones.
A leaked audio recording was published last week of an alleged conversation between Yevtushenkov and a Georgian oligarch discussing how to circumvent international sanctions arising from Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
A US State Department spokesman refused to confirm the authenticity of the recording in a press briefing on Tuesday or US discussions around sanctions against Yevtushenkov, but added that ‘sanctions evasion is something that we are taking a very close look at around the world’.
DailyMail.com previously revealed Hunter, his business partners, and Kazakh businessmen dined together in 2015 again at Cafe Milano, where Joe Biden secretly met them – a fact at first denied by the White House until photos of the then-vice president at the event emerged
Hunter prepared a guest list for the dinner at the private ‘Garden Room’ at Georgetown’s Café Milano on April 15, 2015
‘I’m not in a position to preview sanctions on any individual or any specific entities, but it’s something we’re taking a very close look at,’ the spokesman said.
This month the Russian oligarch gave up formal control of the publicly listed company Sistema by transferring 10 per cent of his shares to his son.
He now holds 49.2 per cent of the company, while his son, Felix, has 15.2 per cent.
Morley said Sistema’s stake in Russian defense contractor RTI ‘dropped below controlling level in summer 2021’ and ‘has since exited the company completely.’
He did not comment on the reported sale of deadly drones by Sistema company Orion to the Russian military.
Hunter’s lawyers declined to comment when contacted by DailyMail.com.