Igor Shuvalov, Russia’s deputy prime minister, is supposed to have the cleanest hands in the Kremlin. So where’d he get a quarter of a billion dollars?
In 2006, Igor Shuvalov, then one of Vladimir Putin's economic aides and now Russia's first deputy prime minister, used offshore companies to purchase close to $2 million in building materials from a Belgian contractor in order to outfit a lavish greenhouse for his 18.5-acre estate just outside Moscow. The company, Glas & Metaal Engineering, which filed for bankruptcy in June 2011 and no longer exists, was based in the municipality of Menen, Belgium. It was contracted in February 2006 to sell "glass-panels and the support-structures in stainless steel, and aluminium outside cleaning-gantry" for the glazed dome and walls for the "Wintergarden" on Shuvalov's sprawling estate in Zarechye village in the Odintsovo district of Moscow, the buildings of which were designed by Italian architect Giuliano Moretti. The land of Zarechye-4, Shuvalov's property, formerly belonged to members of the Soviet Politburo, including hard-line communist ideologist Mikhail Suslov, for the purpose of hosting VIPs. Shuvalov's neighbors include billionaire oligarchs Roman Abramovich and Suleyman Kerimov, with whom Shuvalov has profited enormously in financial dealings uncovered in 2011 and 2012.