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Austria. Villa in Austria still in the hands of Russian oligarch Arkady Rotenberg

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A €10 million villa in the Tyrolean resort of Kitzbuehel has been owned by Arkady Rotenberg, a Russian oligarch and close associate of Vladimir Putin, for years. Rotenberg was already on the EU sanctions list in 2014, which was emphasized by politicians from Tyrol. They also pointed out that the villa had been regularly visited by “Putin’s closest associates” recently.

Rotenberg’s villa is one of the many residences in Kitzbuehel – described the “Kurier” daily on Wednesday. According to international findings, the property was purchased in 2013 with Rotenberg’s money through a Cypriot sham company. One of the daughters of the Russian president often spent her holidays in the villa, according to the daily “Der Standard”.

Rotenberg’s villa in Austria

“It is particularly shocking that Rotenberg has been on the EU sanctions list since 2014, so his assets should have been frozen a long time ago,” emphasized “Kurier” and wondered how it was possible that “the oligarch still openly , in the eyes of the authorities, may own a villa worth 10.8 million euros” on the premises Austria.

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On Wednesday, the governor of Tyrol, Anton Mattle, had to address the above issues in the state parliament. He assured that “in the spring of 2022, Tyrol sent to the federal authorities all data on land acquired by Russian citizens” subject to sanctions. As he emphasized, in the case of Rotenberg’s real estate, the purchase was made by a Cypriot company. He added that the implementation of the sanctions by the Austrian federal government and the Tyrolean authorities prevents the European Union from being passive towards commercial transactions made through Cyprus.

Arkady RotenbergYURI KOCHETKOV/EPA/PAP

Opposition politicians, dissatisfied with these explanations, stressed that for a year and a half there had been information that “Putin’s closest associates are entering and leaving the villa, and the Tyrolean authorities are completely uninterested in this” and “look at the matter through their fingers”.

Mattle stressed several times that he reported the property in question to the federal government already in the spring of 2022, and for the state intelligence services DNS “the plot became of interest.”

“The international journalist network Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and several partner media, such as ‘Der Standard+’ or ‘Spiegel’, have apparently been more successful in detecting the ownership and cash flows of the oligarchs” – summed up “Kurier”.

Main photo source: YURI KOCHETKOV/EPA/PAP



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