The Crimean authorities, controlled by Russia, continue to sell wineries to Vladimir Putin’s close circle for a pittance, “Krym.Realii”.

On September 4 local publications reported that the Inkerman Wine Factory may be purchased by the firm “Yuzhny Proekt”, which previously purchased the “Novyi Svet” winery. The company, established in late November 2017, takes part in the tender for the acquisition of the plant and wins it already in December, thus buying the “Novyi Svet” for 1.5 million rubles ($ 25 million).

The “Yuzhny Proekt” belongs to the bank “Russia”, the largest shareholders of which are people who are close to Vladimir Putin. For example, Yuri Kovalchuk and Gennady Timchenko, Putin called his friends in 2014, Sergei Roldugin, involved in the “Panama Dossier”, is considered one of the “Putin’s sponsors”, the son of Nikolai Shamalov is the ex-husband of Ekaterina Tikhonova, who is considered Putin’s daughter, Mikhail Shelomov is the son of Putin’s cousin.

According to experts, the winery “Novyi Svet” will bring new owners at least 10% of profit per year. Moreover, it turned out that in the cellars of the enterprise there were kept wines for tens of million dollars.

The same fate is predicted to the Inkerman winery, along with his subsidiary “Kachinsky +” with the vineyards, to which the Sevastopol authorities prevented work in every possible way since December 2014. There are already even applicants for its purchase. The most notable of them is VTB Group, which already owns “Alma Valley” and “Massandra”, as well as offshore the companies of Pavel Lebedev, ex-defense minister.

Also among the applicants for the purchase of Inkerman is the holding of Alexander Tkachev, the Minister of Agriculture of Russia, who bought the network of ATB stores in the Crimea.

In August, Sergey Lebedev, general director of Inkerman, informed the media that the company was on the verge of closure because of problems that began as early as in late 2014.

Two more wineries, “Simferopol Winery” and “Crimea-Wine”, local authorities included in the privatization plan for the current year.

In October last year, local mass media reported that the authorities of Simferopol had received a letter from the Russian President’s Affairs Department demanding to exclude the winery from the privatization plan “in connection with the planned transfer of the enterprise to the management of the affairs of the President of Russia.” Such a situation had happened already to the winery “Massandra”.

The publication claims that this way, directly or through a close circle, the large winemaking enterprises of the Crimea are concentrated in Putin’s hands.