The Insider: A friend of Putin’s daughter imports elite wines into Russia, bypassing sanctions

After EU sanctions banning the import of expensive bottles into Russia, Vladimir Putin’s entourage collection could not refuse wines 300. Delivery arranged promptly by a friend of the president’s daughter, Ekaterina Tikhonova, Alexey Repik, owner of R-Farm, found out with The Insider.

totally agree November–December 2022, the Repik-owned Riatico company brought collection wines to Russia in the amount of at least 283.33 million rubles (€4 million). Among them are ten bottles of Henri Zaire, including a 1984 from Richebourg vineyard. Three years ago, one such copy was sold at auction by Christie’s for almost 184,000 pounds (15 million rubles). In addition, Putin’s friends will be able to enjoy Domaine de la Romanée-Conti wine, which was loved by Madame Pompadour, mistress of Louis XV, and others. Two hundred top wines from Burgundy, Bordeaux and Piedmont.

According to the Federal Register of Alcoholic Products, Riatico imported 800 bottles into the country in total. few of them Can be found in many Russian wine trading companies like Simple or DP-Trade, which have been earning international reputation for decades. But if ordinary importers had to be content with previous years of harvest, then the collection of “Rético” turned out to be unique vintages of the 20th century: Château Haut-Brion 1929, Château Cheval Blanc 1947 and Château La Mission Haut Brionne 1961.

The only purchase price of many of these wines exceeds one million rubles per bottle, excluding delivery, taxes and excise duties. Earlier, “Riatico” with a charter With a capital of 10 thousand rubles, was engaged in the import of noodles, soy sauce, pickled ginger and other products from Japan. How she managed to immediately relegate herself as a supplier of ultra-expensive Burgundy is unknown.

According to The Insider, friends of Putin import alcohol under the guise of “certification samples”. However, the size of the batches is much higher than the prescribed standard of “not more than 2.5 liters of each item”. How they get through customs is unclear. purchases are made through European companies that help “Rytiko” with the collection of orders from different manufacturers and paperwork. Thus, she manages to circumvent the restrictions.

You won’t find imported wines on open sale, but they are available in the restaurants of Repik himself and Ivan Sibirev, who is associated with Gazprom and Putin’s friend Gennady Timchenko. The presence of such bottles is not advertised, but served “at the request of particularly important guests”.

For example, Deputy Chairman of the Security Council Dmitry Medvedev loves collection wine. At a banquet in 2014, he ordered the most expensive bottle in the wine list – Romani-Conti – with the words: “VTB will pay.” Meanwhile, according to Rosstat, more than 17 million Russians live on less than 13.5 thousand rubles a month. Journalists calculated that each of them would have to save 24 years to earn just one bottle of Romani-Conti 2003 without spending a penny on food and accommodation.

Repic’s own assets are estimated at $ 1.4 billion. R-Pharm JSC is the largest pharmaceutical manufacturer in Russia and Gets most of its money from the state. The Federal Antimonopoly Service suspected the Ministry of Health and Repik of a cartel conspiracy that led to an increase in drug prices, and even conducted an unscheduled inspection at the ministry, but the investigation came to nothing.

In addition, the offshore company Repika has a business jet. Bombardier Global 5000Used by Ekaterina Tikhonova, wrote “Important Stories” in a joint investigation with Der Spiegel. It also said that the businessman was cooperating with Kirill Dmitriev, a friend of Natalia Popova and husband of Tikhonova’s deputy at the Innopractika Foundation.

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