The billionaire Arkadi Rotenberg, a man close to the Russian president Vladimir Putin and which is subject to Western sanctions, claimed on Saturday to be the owner of the “palacio” that the incarcerated opponent Alexei Navalny attributes to the agent.
“I came to an agreement with the creditors a few years ago and became a beneficiary of this site,” Rotenberg, quoted by his press service, told Russian agencies, adding that he intended to transform the residence into an “aparthotel.”
“Everything is done very carefully, efficiently and professionally. I hope that we will finish the construction of the hotel in a few years, ”said the businessman, Putin’s ex-judo partner.
Navalny, the main Russian opponent, in an investigation with 100 million views on YouTube accused Putin of being the beneficiary of an opulent and immense “palace” on the shores of the Black Sea, the construction of which would have cost more than 1 billion euros (1.2 billion dollars).
Putin denied these accusations, which he said were intended to “brainwash” the Russians and incite them to go to demonstrate. Navalny’s team organized a first day of protests last Saturday and plans further action on Sunday.
Russian state television broadcast, for its part, images of the residence still under construction and far from the luxury and opulence described by the opponent, proof according to her of a manipulation of Navalny’s team.
Navalny’s allies have ensured that the residence is currently under construction due to defects due to “negligence” during its initial construction, and that Putin is the beneficiary through an alias.