“This bank [Vnesheconombank] is, in essence an arm of the FSB and the KGB. Gorkov is a former KGB officer. Everything he does, he reports to the KGB.”
Robert Baer — Former CIA Officer
Sergey Gorkov — the Russian banker Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner met with in late December — is viewed by U.S. intelligence as a “Putin crony” and a graduate of a “finishing school” for spies who was often tasked with sensitive financial operations by Putin. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY
Kushner met Gorkov in late December
Until now, the White House had acknowledged only an early December meeting between Mr. Kislyak and Mr. Kushner, which occurred at Trump Tower and was also attended by Michael T. Flynn, who would briefly serve as the national security adviser.
Later that month, though, Mr. Kislyak requested a second meeting, which Mr. Kushner asked a deputy to attend in his stead, officials said.
At Mr. Kislyak’s request, Mr. Kushner later met with Sergey N. Gorkov, the chief of Vnesheconombank, which the United States placed on its sanctions list after President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia annexed Crimea and began meddling in Ukraine. [NYT]
About Sergey Gorkov
Sergey Gorkov, 48, graduated from the FSB Academy, which was chartered in 1994 to educate Russian Intelligence personnel. He has long served Russian President Vladimir Putin in critical economic roles.
In February 2016, Putin chose him to head of the state-owned VneshEconomBank (VEB).
As the Russian state national development bank, VEB has played a critical role in blunting the impact of U.S. sanctions against Russia by finding other sources of foreign capital.
Before that, Gorkov was appointed deputy chairman of Sberbank in October 2010.
Sberbank — Russia’s biggest bank — is also state-owned, and also under U.S. sanctions since 2014.
Putin authorized a $22 billion of state financing for VEB to cover bad debts built up since the imposition of sanctions.VEB was also implicated in an espionage case that began before Gorkov took over 2016 but continued after he took over.
One of its New York-based employees, Evgeny Buryakov, was arrested on espionage charges in January 2015.
According to court records reviewed by NBC News, Buryakov used his position to spy on unnamed U.S. companies, and sought information on high-frequency trading. Prosecutors said his internet searches included “NYC Homeland Security” and “New York City critical infrastructure.”
Buryakov claimed he had diplomatic immunity in his defense, which was paid by VEB, but after a court ruled he didn’t qualify, he pleaded guilty in March 2016.
He was sentenced to 30 months in prison and a $100,000 fine.
He was released early from prison on March 31 2017 and deported from the United States six days later.
Long before his nomination as Trump’s National Security Advisor, US and UK Intelligence officials were troubled by Lieutenant-General Michael Flynn’s relationship with Ms Lokhova.
Svetlana Lokhova used to work for the London branch of Russia’s state-controlled Sberbank.
In 2015 she won a £3.2million payout after winning an employment tribunal case in London against Sberbank CIB for sex discrimination and harassment.
After this episode, Ms Lokhova metamorphosed from a Russian banker into a UK historian with expertise in GRU espionage and US atomic weapons. And in this new position, she met Lieutenant-General Michael Flynn, then the Director of the DIA.
RELATED POST: Flynngate — The mysterious Svetlana Lokhova
James Woolsey & Robert Baer Interview
“Was Kushner talking about business? Was he looking for a quid pro quo?”
Who Is the Russian Banker Who Met With Jared Kushner? — Foreign Policy
New Details on Russian Banker Who Met With Kushner