A friend of Vladimir Putin’s daughter managed to import bottles of the world’s most expensive wines into Russia last year despite Western sanctions, according to public filings.
Pharmaceutical billionaire Alexey Repik’s company Ryatiko brought in ten bottles of Henri Jayer wine, which fetched £184,000 a bottle at a Christie’s auction in 2020.
Ryatiko also imported 200 varieties of Burgundy, Bordeaux and Piedmont’s rarest wines, each costing over £12,000 a bottle.
Public filings to Russia’s state registry of alcohol products show that Mr Repik’s company, which previously dealt in soy sauce, imported £3.5 million in European wines in November and December alone last year, according to an investigation by Russia’s Insider media outlet.
That was despite a specific ban by the EU from companies exporting wine to Russia worth more than 300 euros a bottle.
Unclear how company defied sanctions
It is not clear how Ryatiko managed to get around the sanctions. The Insider suggested it could have hired an EU company that either concealed the real value of the wines or made it look as if the cargo was only going to transit through Russia en route to another destination.
Mr Repik, better known as the owner of R-Pharm, one of Russia’s biggest pharmaceutical companies, was estimated to be worth $1.4 billion before the invasion of Ukraine.
He has long been described as a friend of Katerina Tikhonova, Putin’s younger daughter.
An investigation by Germany’s Der Spiegel and Russia’s iStories last year cited flight manifests showing that Ms Tikhonova had been using a private jet owned by Mr Repik’s offshore company.
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