A new investigation called, "the paradise papers ", has tied aides of U.S. President Donald Trump to allies of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has an interest in Navigator Holdings, which earns millions a year transporting oil and gas for Russian energy firm Sibur. Two major Sibur shareholders are under some form of US sanctions.
A spokesman for Ross did not deny these accusations,
A commerce department spokesman did not dispute the revelations."Secretary Ross recuses himself from any matters focused on transoceanic shipping vessels," the spokesman told BBC Panorama, adding that the secretary "works closely with Commerce Department ethics officials to ensure the highest ethical standards".
Vladimir Putin's son-in-law is a shareholder of Sibur.
Another Sibur shareholder is President Putin's son in law, Kirill Shamalov. He holds a 3.9% stake in the firm. Gennady Timchenko, who has been individually sanctioned by the United States, as have at least 12 companies connected to him, and Leonid Mikhelson, whose main company, Novatek, is also sanctioned, are major shareholders.
Former Obama official claims that he would advise any client not to do business with Sibur.
But Daniel Fried, who oversaw the introduction of US sanctions against Russia under President Barack Obama, told Panorama that it would be a mistake for any American official to do business with Sibur. "I would advise any client who came to me to stay well away from Sibur or anybody else who has been sanctioned or has a relationship with sanctioned individuals... on the grounds, at least, of reputational risk."
This is an org. chart by the BBC (it is helpful)