Russian entanglements: Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said this week that he will sell his stake in London-based Navigator Holdings, a shipping company linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle. Ross’s previously unknown ties to the company were revealed in a massive trove of leaked financial documents known as the Paradise Papers. The documents from Appleby, a firm that specializes in offshore legal services, show that one of Navigator’s biggest clients is Sibur, a Russian natural gas firm. Sibur’s owners include Putin’s son-in-law, Kirill Shamalov, and Putin associate Gennady Timchenko, who is under U.S. sanctions. Although Ross disclosed that he had investments in the shipping industry when he became commerce secretary, some lawmakers have said that he did not specify having a stake in Navigator. Ross said through a spokesman that he had never met any of Sibur’s owners and that he has recused himself from government business involving transoceanic shipping.
Ross: Ties to Putin?