Entrepreneur Tinkov renounces Russian citizenship over Ukraine war

  • The founder of Tinkoff Bank called Putin’s government “fascist”.
  • Oleg Tinkov to start legal proceedings against the bank
  • The entrepreneur says he currently has no business interests in Russia

Nov 1 (Reuters) – Serial entrepreneur Oleg Tinkov has renounced his Russian citizenship, saying he does not want to be associated with “fascism” or people who collaborate with “killers”.

The 54-year-old founder of Tinkov Bank wrote in an Instagram post published on Tuesday: “After the Russian attack on independent Ukraine, I decided to give up my Russian citizenship. I am against this war and the killing of peaceful people.”

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Tinkov, whose fledgling digital credit card company, TCS Group Holding ( TCSq.L ), grew into one of Russia’s largest financial institutions has been an outspoken critic of the invasion and of President Vladimir Putin.

He was forced to sell his 35 percent stake in TCS, the parent of Tinkoff Bank, to Russian metals magnate Vladimir Potanin in April following a string of anti-war comments.

An original Instagram post published on Monday, with an image of his citizenship renunciation certificate dated Oct. 26, “mysteriously disappeared,” Tinkoff said.

Tinkoff also said Tuesday that he is suing the bank to stop using his name.

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“My name should not be associated with fascism,” Tinkov said. I hate when my brand/name is associated with a bank that cooperates with murderers and blood.

The bank, in turn, said it has full legal rights to use the Tinkoff brand, TASS news agency reported.

The tycoon, who likens himself to British billionaire Richard Branson and was worth roughly $10 billion at his peak, launched electronics, frozen food and beer brands before founding Tinkoff Bank in the mid-2000s.

Before he sold his shares, Britain imposed sanctions on Tinkov, saying he was “receiving benefits from the Russian government” through his stake in a systemically important company.

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Tinkoff is believed to be living in London, where he was treated for leukemia for years. He says he currently has no business interests in Russia.

Tinkoff previously held US citizenship, but at the same time Tinkoff Bank went public in 2013 in what Washington saw as an attempt to avoid tax liabilities.

Tinkoff reached a $500 million settlement with the Justice Department last year.

Reuters report; Edited by Kevin Liffey

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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