Fresh allegations were launched against mega-billionaire Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross over the weekend, as NBC News reported that Ross had failed to disclose he still has an interest in Navigator Holdings, a company which also has ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
According to leaked documents, NBC reported: “Ross — a billionaire industrialist — retains an interest in a shipping company, Navigator Holdings, that was partially owned by his former investment company. One of Navigator’s most important business relationships is with a Russian energy firm controlled, in turn, by Putin’s son-in-law and other members of the Russian president’s inner circle.”
Sibur, a Russian energy company, whose owners include Putin’s son-in-law, also reportedly has connections to Navigator Holdings. Putin’s son-in-law, Kirill Shamalov, holds a 3.9% stake in the firm. Shamalov is not subject to sanctions, his father, Nikolai, is, BBC News reported.
“There’s nothing whatsoever improper about Navigator having a relationship with Sibur,” Mr. Ross has responded, in an interview with the BBC.
“If our government decided to sanction them, that would be a different story,” he continued, saying he did report his business connections to the office of government ethics and denied misleading the confirmation hearing committee when he took office.
“The fact that Sibur happens to be called a Russian company does not mean there’s any evil in it. Where there is evil is the misstatement that I did not disclose those holdings in my original form,” Ross said.
The BBC provided the following graph regarding the alleged ties between Ross and Russia.