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The Russian Oligarch, Billionaire, and Investor Gennady Timchenko

On 22 Feb 2022, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced sanctions on three Russian oligarchs as part of the British government’s response to the escalating conflict in Ukraine – Boris Rotenberg, Igor Rotenberg, and Gennady Timchenko.

The Russian-Finish oligarch, billionaire, and oil magnate Gennady Timchenko is known for his close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Born in Soviet Armenia and raised in East Germany and Ukraine, in 1976, he graduated from the Leningrad Mechanical Institute, Putin’s List notes.

In 1997, together with his Swedish partner Torbjörn Törnqvist, he founded Gunvor. Both Russian state-owned (Rosneft, Gazprom Neft) and private companies (TNK-BP and Surgutneftegaz) sold oil abroad through Gunvor. In 2007, about 30 percent of all Russian oil exports went through Gunvor. Timchenko sold his stake to a partner in 2014 to protect the company from being hit by the sanctions against Russia over the Crim annexation.

In 2007, Gennady Timchenko founded the private investment fund Volga Group, which in 2010 became one of the largest shareholders in Novatek, one of Russia’s primary natural gas firms. This investment consolidated Timchenko’s clout in Russia’s oil and gas industry.

His biggest holdings include major stakes in publicly traded natural gas producer Novatek and chemicals manufacturer Sibur.

As of 24 Feb 2022, Timchenko was ranked 96th on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, with an estimated fortune of US$16B making him the 8th richest person in Russia.

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