Rotenberg: Putin ‘From God’

Rotenberg: Putin ‘From God’

Published: November 14, 2012 (Issue # 1735)

MOSCOW — Gazprom contractor and billionaire Arkady Rotenberg, 60, has said that his childhood friend President Vladimir Putin was sent to Russia “from God.”

Rotenberg, a judo sparring partner of Putin’s who has investments in the construction and finance industries, is ranked as Russia’s 94th wealthiest man by Forbes with a personal fortune of $1 billion.

“Friendship never hurt anyone,” Rotenberg told the Financial Times. “I have great respect for this person, and I consider that this is a person sent to our country from God.”

But Rotenberg denied that his relationship with Putin had been instrumental in his business success.

“You can’t just go to him and ask for something,” he said. “Firstly, this is not my style and secondly, he wouldn’t even let me through the door.”

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