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Iran Press TV

Russian billionaire reveals 'secret' Black Sea palace belongs to him

Iran Press TV

Saturday, 30 January 2021 6:38 PM

Russian billionaire Arkady Rotenberg says he is the owner of a luxurious Black Sea mansion that came under the spotlight last week, after opposition figure Alexey Nalvalny alleged it was owned by President Vladimir Putin.

Rotenberg made the revelation in an interview on Saturday, saying that he bought the palace two years ago.

"Now it will no longer be a secret, I am the beneficiary," Rotenberg said in a video published by Mash channel in Telegram.

"There was a rather complicated facility, there were a lot of creditors, and I managed to become the beneficiary,"he added.

He said the property will be completed "in a couple of years" and is expected to become an apartment hotel.

Earlier this month, the team of the detained opposition figure released a video detailing a lavish compound in the resort town of Gelendzhik.

In the video, Navalny alleged the property cost 1.37 billion and was paid for "with the largest bribe in history."

He said that the palace was owned by President Putin.

Putin's spokesman immediately rejected the allegation, saying that the president "does not have any palaces in Gelendzhik."

Earlier this month, Russian police detained Navalny on arrival at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport from Germany, five months after he was transferred to a hospital in Berlin to be treated for what the West alleged had been a nerve agent attack by Moscow.

Navalny, who was arrested for violating the terms of a suspended sentence he initially received in 2014, would remain behind bars until mid-February, awaiting trial.

To protest his arrest, people held rallies in several cities and in the capital Moscow and St Petersburg last week.

Putin denounced the protest rallies as "dangerous" illegal demonstrations, saying that nobody should use unauthorized protest action to further their own political interests.

The president also dismissed Navalny's claims about the Black Sea mansion, saying, "Nothing that is listed there as my property belongs to me or my close relatives, and never did."

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