According to a new report from the Wall Street Journal, a Trump hotel located in Toronto received money it immediately needed through a deal financed by a Russian state-run bank.
Former Trump hotel partner Alexander Shnaider received help from government-owned VEB in setting up an asset sale of a share in a Ukrainian steel firm worth $850 million. Right after the deal was completed, Shnaider started funneling money into the Trump hotel project, which was having financial problems at the time.
Even though the identity of the buyer has not been publicly revealed, a couple sources said it was “an entity acting for the Russian government.”
The Trump Organization insists however that it “had no involvement in any financial dealings with VEB” over the building, they “merely licensed its brand and manages the hotel and residences.”
The Journal points out that the transaction is conspicuous because the “VEB has long been viewed by Russian analysts as a vehicle for the Russian government to fund politically important projects.”
It should also be noted that at the time of Shnaider’s deal, Russian President Vladimir Putin was chairman of VEB’s supervisory board and would have had to sign off on the deal.