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Tuesday April 23, 2024

Extremist Priti Patel’s donor has Russian connections with sanctioned entities

Priti Patel is known for constantly running campaigns against Muslims and Islam

By Murtaza Ali Shah
February 29, 2024
British Politician Priti Patel can be seen in this image. — AFP/File
British Politician Priti Patel can be seen in this image. — AFP/File

LONDON: A key backer of former extreme right-wing UK Home Secretary Priti Patel has links with the Russian government and sanctioned entities, according to an investigation.

The Telegraph reported that RETN Capital, which provides services across Europe, has been awarded Russian state contracts from agencies controlled by sanctioned individuals, including an ally of Vladimir Putin, while its Conservative-donor backer posts anti-Ukrainian propaganda on social media.

RETN Capital claims to have limited its exposure to Russia since the invasion of Ukraine and complied with sanctions, but instead its revenue from the country has rocketed since the war began, partly driven by contracts from sanctioned state entities, according to a report in the Daily Telegraph.

An investigation by the newspaper also found that the co-owner of RETN’s primary institutional investor, Njord Partners, was posting content on X attacking Ukraine and President Zelensky.

One repost stated: “Ukraine has always been a very dodgy place, run by friends of the globalists like Hunter Bider where incredibly shifty s*** goes on”.

Trolle also reposted: “Why is no one stating the obvious? Zelensky has regime-ending dirt on Biden and other Western leaders who have used Ukraine as their corruption playground for decades.”

Trolle, a former Oaktree Capital executive who donated £20,000 to extreme right-wing Conservative MP Priti Patel when she was UK Home Secretary, also posted conspiracy theories on his X account, the Telegraph reported.

Priti Patel is known for constantly running campaigns against Muslims and Islam. She has recently attached Muslims, falsely, and accused them of taking over Britain. When she was the Home Secretary, she made false claims against British Pakistani men and was condemned by anti-racism groups for her outburst.

Trolle’s partner at Njord Partners, Jakob Kjellberg, is currently the Chairman of RETN.

RETN’s wholly owned Russian subsidiary received contracts from state entities which have been sanctioned since the war in Ukraine, according to Interfax-Spark, a database of official contracts.

In December 2022, RETN’s Russian arm won a contract with the Kurchatov Institute, a Russian state-controlled aviation research agency which is sanctioned by the UK and US. Its general director Mikhail Kovalchuk and his brother Yury, a close ally of President Putin, are subject to sanctions by the UK, Canada and Ukraine.

Two months later RETN was awarded a contract with the Russian State Enterprise Fuel and Energy Complex of St Petersburg – known as GUP TEK. Both GUP TEK and its general director, Ivan Boltenkov, are sanctioned by Ukraine.