One Russian oligarch has the right to seize the property of others

Vladimir Potanin, a partner in the mining company Norilsk Nickel, is increasingly taking positions in Russian banking at a time when Western owners and anti-Putin people are leaving.Photo: Sergei Karpukhin, Reuters / Scanpix

As companies flee Russia, they can be taken over by one of the few oligarchs who has not been hit by sanctions, Vladimir Potanin, owner of the Siberian mining group Norilsk Nickel, writes the Financial Times.

When Vladimir Potanin developed Russia’s infamous “loans against shares” program in the 1990s, he used his political clout and banking power to buy valuable public industrial assets cheaply. Now that Western sanctions are hampering other oligarchs because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Potanin is using its wealth to buy stakes in Russia’s large banks, which are being sold by fleeing Western groups and those on the side of President Vladimir Putin’s opponents.

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