The former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen is going to now work as a Deputy Chairman of the Board in the Latvian bank “Norvik Banka”.
The owner of this bank is a Russian banker Grigory Guselnikov. His sphere of influence also includes “Vyatka Bank“. Recently, this bank in a consortium with the Belarusians tried to buy out the Ukrainian branch of the Russian “Sberbank“. Behind “Belarusians” there were structures of the Russian oligarch Mikhail Gutseriev, who controls Rosneft, Binbank and Eldorado. At one time Guselnikov just worked for Gutseriev. By the way, Mikhail and Sait-Salam Gutseriev were included into the list of the Russian oligarchs with close ties to Kremlin.
After beginning the war with Ukraine, Russian banks began to encounter problems in Ukraine. A branch of Russian “Sberbank” tried to continue to work in Ukraine, employing all sorts of tricks and deceits, but was forced to leave the Ukrainian market last year after the obstruction by Ukrainian patriots of its branches across the country.
At the beginning of 2017, Sberbank has quickly found a buyer – the same Russians who were disguised as Belarus-Latvian investors. In the end, the protests of Ukrainian activists worked, and according to the latest information, the asset of the Ukrainian banking sector passed under the control of the bank of the Ukrainian oligarch Serhiy Tihipko. A tricky Russian special operation with the purpose of selling the bank to another Russian did not work.
Of course, in terms of business, it’s just another successful (special) operation to attract influential lobbyists to business. Rasmussen is a well-known Danish politician, was the Minister of Revenue and Finance (1987-92), a Danish Prime Minister (2001-2009) and NATO Secretary General (2009-2014). But it was the eighth largest bank in Latvia with Russian roots to invite such a well-known politician. Interestingly, at what Russian bank will the current NATO secretary general work?
Of course, it may be that it is a common commercial destination. In the end, Rasmussen is even the adviser to Petro Poroshenko. However, we already have examples of such appointments that indirectly influenced the history of Ukraine.
For example, the former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder was involved to the work for Russian Gazprom and later was appointed Chairman to Rosneft.
In a strange coincidence, it was during the period of Mr. Schröder’s active political lobbying that the Russian monopolist, Gazprom, strengthened its position and increased its share on the European market. Also, currently the Social Democratic Party of Germany, which Schröder was a member of, is, “surprisingly”, in favor of gradual lifting of the sanctions, and improving the dialogue with Russia. It would be interesting to find out where the other officials of that political party would be employed after finishing their political careers.
Some representatives of the German Christian Democrats received money from the state-owned Azerbaijani company and then did not find any violations in the Azerbaijan elections. The same coincidence.
All in all, this is a common practice, but in this case, the appointment of Rasmussen is very similar to the element (yet hybrid?) of the information war against NATO, in order to show an opportunity to negotiate with any Western politician. In turn, we will look forward to seeing the economic growth of the eighth largest bank in Latvia.