Former Russian arms tycoon and other wealthy Russians donate to U.K. Conservative Party through an obscure energy company.
Aquind Ltd is a U.K.-registered company seeking to build a controversial £1.2 billion undersea electricity grid connector between Britain and France. Its three named directors are Richard Glasspool (former partner at KPMG Russia and former executive at a Russian bank run by Putin-friendly oligarch Roman Avdeev), Kirill Glukhovskoy (former senior lawyer with major Russian energy companies), and oligarch Alexander Temerko (former Russian arms tycoon who supported his “friend” Boris Johnson’s campaign to take Britain out of the E.U. and is reportedly one of nine donors named in the ISC Russia report). It emerged in 2020 that a still-unidentified fourth backer with control over Aquind had been granted anonymity by Companies House under a rare exemption for people who could be at risk of “serious violence or intimidation” should their name become public. Luxembourg public records related to Aquind’s holding company revealed that the secret beneficial owner is Viktor Fedotov, a Russian-born tycoon, who U.K. security and law enforcement agencies say is not genuinely at risk of violence or intimidation. Aquind has given £242,000 to the U.K. Conservative Party since 2018, including £8,000 to John Whittingdale (Boris Johnson’s minister responsible for defending Britain from disinformation) and £5,000 donation from Mark Pritchard (an MP who sits on the ISC). It has also employed multiple British lords as directors or paid advisers.