Leaked documents from an offshore law firm show that Wilbur Ross, the billionaire U.S. Secretary of Commerce, has investments in a firm connected to Russian President Vladimir Putin's son-in-law, The Guardian reports.
Ross holds a stake in Navigator, a shipping company that partners with the Russian gas company Sibur. Two of Sibur's stakeholders have close ties to the Russian president: Kirill Shamalov is Putin's son-in-law; Russian oligarch Gennady Timchenko, who is under U.S. sanctions, is an associate. "Shamalov is a very important member of Putin's circle and there is no question that he is closely trusted," Karen Dawisha, director of Russian and post-Soviet studies at Miami University in Ohio, told The Guardian. "He was not well-trained for the job at Sibur, but he was well connected."
Records show that since 2014, Navigator has received $68 million in revenue through its partnership with Sibur. Ross' press secretary told The Guardian his holding does not conflict with his government duties because he "recuses himself from any matters focused on transoceanic shipping vessels." Read more about the leaked documents, dubbed the Paradise Papers, and the other high-profile people mentioned in the trove at The Guardian.