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Aleksandr Porfiryevich Torshin (Russian: Алекса́ндр Порфи́рьевич То́ршин; November 27, 1953, Ust-Bolsheretsky District) is a Russian politician. He served in the Federation Council of Russia,[3] from 2001 to 2015. He was its acting Chairman for four months in 2011. As of July 2018, he is a deputy governor of the Central Bank of Russia.[4] Torshin is from and represented Mari El Republic in parliament. Allegations have been made about his involvement with the Russian mafia.[5][6]

Aleksandr Torshin
Aleksandr Torshin cropped.jpg
Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Russia
In office
2015[1] – 2018[2]
Senator from Mari El Republic
In office
2001–2015
Acting Chairman of the Federation Council
In office
19 May 2011 – 21 September 2011
Preceded bySergey Mironov
Succeeded byValentina Matviyenko
Personal details
Born
Aleksandr Porfiryevich Torshin

(1953-11-27) November 27, 1953 (age 65)
Mitoga, Kamchatka Oblast, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
NationalityRussian
Children2 daughters

Contents

BiographyEdit

He graduated from the All-Union Legal Correspondence Institute with a degree in law in 1978.[7] From 1990 to 1991 he was an employee of the department for relations with socio-political organizations of the apparatus of the CPSU Central Committee.[7]

From 1995 to 1998 he was the State Secretary of the Bank of Russia, was responsible for interaction with government bodies, public organizations and the media.[7]

In 1998, he assumed the authority of a representative of the government of the Russian Federation in the State Duma in the rank of deputy head of the government apparatus.[7]

From 1999 to 2001, he worked as Deputy General Director – State Secretary of the State Corporation "Agency for Restructuring Credit Organizations".[7]

In January 2001, Alexander Torshin becomes a member of the Federation Council from the government of the Russian Republic of Mari El.[7]

In January 2002, he was appointed deputy chairman of the Federation Council.[7]

In August 2004, he joined the ranks of the party "United Russia".[7]

In September 2008, Torshin became the first deputy chairman of the Federation Council.[7]

From May 18 to September 21, 2011, served as chairman of the Federation Council. He served in the Federation Council of Russia, the upper house of the Russian parliament, from 2001 to 2015, and as its acting Chairman for four months in 2011. Torshin, originating from the Mari El Republic, a republic in Russia, is a leading figure in the ruling United Russia party.[3][7]

There have also been accusations made that he is a leading figure within the Russian mafia.[6]

CareerEdit

Some time between 1995 and 1998, Torshin was State Secretary of the Central Bank of Russia. Torshin entered the Federation Council of Russia in 2001. He became the acting chairman for the succeeding Sergey Mironov on May 19, 2011, after Mironov was ousted by the majority United Russia in the Council. Torshin remained as acting chairman until the election of Valentina Matviyenko also from the United Russia Party. She assumed her responsibilities on September 21, 2011. He remained in the Federation Council until 2015. Torshin was appointed the deputy head of the Central Bank of Russia in 2015 and suddenly retired in 2018.[2]

Allegations in SpainEdit

In 2016, a Spanish investigation connected Torshin with Alexander Romanov, the leader of the Tambovskaya Gang, who had been arrested in Spain and sentenced to four years in prison in May 2016 for illegal transactions. Torshin was allegedly involved in money laundering for the gang.[8] According to Spanish police, he gave instructions to members of the Gang on laundering, through banks and real estate in Spain. They concluded that in the structure of the organized criminal group, Torshin "stood higher" than Romanov. As a result of wiretapping, which took place several months before the arrest of Romanov, Spanish intelligence agencies concluded that Romanov was following financial orders from Torshin, and that Torshin himself could be the manager of the assets of the gang.[8] Romanov‘s properties in Spain, 80% of which Spanish police believe belong to Torshin, have been confiscated.[9]

Spanish police had planned to arrest Torshin in 2013 when he arrived in Mallorca for a friend's birthday party, but he did not arrive. Spanish police speculated he might have been tipped off by Russian authorities.[5]

In 2018, wiretappings from the Spanish police were handed over to the FBI. When asked if this had any relationship with politics in the US, José Grinda, a Spanish prosecutor, replied "Mr. Trump's son should be concerned."[10][11]

Involvement in U.S. politicsEdit

Torshin, and his assistant (sometimes described as his associate or representative) Maria Butina, have established a cooperative relationship between United States-based National Rifle Association (NRA) and the Russian-based "Right to Bear Arms [ru]" which Butina founded in 2011. Torshin has been attending NRA annual meetings in the United States since at least 2011. Following the 2011 meeting then NRA President David Keene expressed his support for Torshin's "endeavors" and extended an invitation to the 2012 meeting.[12] Torshin has attended every NRA annual meeting between 2012 and 2016, occasionally with Butina, and has met every NRA president since 2012.[13][14] Torshin has tweeted that he and Butina are the only two Russians he knows of who are lifetime NRA members.[15][14][16] Butina and Torshin attended the 2014 NRA annual meeting as special guests of former NRA president Keene.[17][18]

Torshin has been a subject of an investigation by the Senate Intelligence Committee into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections.[14][6] In January 2018, McClatchyDC reported that Robert Mueller's Special Counsel investigation is pursuing allegations that Torshin has links to Russian organized crime, and laundered money from the Russian government to the NRA to benefit Trump's campaign.[6] Torshin is also the subject of a probe by the Federal Bureau of Investigation into whether the Russian government attempted to illegally funnel money to the NRA in order to help Trump win the presidency.[6][19][20] On May 16, 2018, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a report[21] stating it had obtained "a number of documents that suggest the Kremlin used the National Rifle Association as a means of accessing and assisting Mr. Trump and his campaign" through Torshin and Butina, and that "The Kremlin may also have used the NRA to secretly fund Mr. Trump's campaign."[22] Most of that money was spent by an arm of the NRA that is not required to disclose its donors. In April 2018, the United States Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control imposed sanctions on 23 Russian nationals, including Torshin,[23] whose assets in the United States were frozen[13] and whose entry into the United States barred, besides being subject to other financial disabilities.

The New York Times reported on July 17, 2018 that Torshin was scheduled to visit the White House in 2017, but the meeting was canceled after a national security aide noted Torshin was under investigation by Spanish authorities for money laundering.[24]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Beyond the N.R.A.: Maria Butina's Peculiar Bid for Russian Influence". Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  2. ^ a b Rudnitsky, Jake; Pismennaya, Evgenia (November 30, 2018). "NRA-Linked Russia Central Banker Retires". Bloomberg LP. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Xinhua: China, Russia eye stronger parliamentary cooperation". Xinhua. Archived from the original on 2011-09-24. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  4. ^ "Russian Accused of Infiltrating NRA on Mission From Kremlin". Retrieved 20 July 2018.
  5. ^ a b Sampathkumar, Mythili (April 3, 2017). "Donald Trump 'almost met with Russian gangster linked to Putin'". The Independent. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d e Stone, Peter; Gordon, Greg (January 18, 2018). "FBI investigating whether Russian money went to NRA to help Trump". McClatchyDC. Archived from the original on 2018-07-20. Retrieved 19 January 2018. It’s unclear how long the Torshin inquiry has been ongoing, but the news comes as Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s sweeping investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election, including whether the Kremlin colluded with Trump’s campaign, has been heating up.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Биография Торшина Александра Порфирьевича, Банк России". Банки.ру. Retrieved 2018-07-18.
  8. ^ a b esteb, Esteban Duarte; Pismennaya, uarte4 Henry Meyer meyerhenry4 Evgenia. "Mobster or Central Banker? Spanish Cops Allege This Russian Both". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2016-08-09.
  9. ^ "Spain reaccuses Central Bank Deputy Chairman Torshin of money laundering and criminal connections". Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  10. ^ Colin Kalmbacher (2018-07-18). "Reminder: Prosecutor Said 'Trump's Son Should be Concerned' About Wiretaps of Butina's Alleged Handler". Law and Crime. Retrieved 2018-07-20. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has received wiretaps obtained by Spanish police which implicate Donald Trump Jr. in a plot to meet with Alexander Torshin, a high-ranking official of Russia’s Central Bank, according to a federal prosecutor in Spain. And, the prosecutor notes, those wiretaps don’t bode well for the president’s son.
  11. ^ Sheth, Sonam. "The FBI has obtained wiretaps of a Putin ally tied to the NRA who met with Trump Jr. during the campaign". Business Insider. Retrieved 2018-07-18.
  12. ^ Stedman, Scott (20 February 2018). "In 2011 handwritten letter, NRA President offered help to Alexander Torshin for his "endeavors"". Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  13. ^ a b Sheth, Sonam (7 April 2018). "The 3 biggest names on the latest Russia sanctions list have all popped up in the investigation surrounding Trump". Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  14. ^ a b c Clifton, Denise; Follman, Mark (March 8, 2018). "The Very Strange Case of Two Russian Gun Lovers, the NRA, and Donald Trump". Mother Jones.
  15. ^ Pavlich, Katie (May 6, 2014). "Part 1: Meet the Woman Working With the NRA and Fighting For Gun Rights in Russia". Townhall.com.
  16. ^ Mak, Tim. "The NRA May Have More Russian Contributors Than It First Said". Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  17. ^ Mak, Tim (February 23, 2017). "The Kremlin and GOP Have a New Friend – and Boy, Does She Love Guns". The Daily Beast.
  18. ^ Pavlich, Katie (May 6, 2014). "Part 1: Meet the Woman Working With the NRA and Fighting For Gun Rights in Russia". Townhall. Retrieved April 8, 2018.
  19. ^ Sheth, Sonam (17 March 2018). "Congress wants to question an NRA lawyer who reportedly raised concerns about the group's Russia ties". Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  20. ^ Sheth, Sonam (5 April 2018). "Mueller's team is eyeing whether wealthy Russians illegally funneled money into Trump's campaign and inauguration". Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  21. ^ https://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/b/3/b3e29bc4-8afd-4145-85d9-618dcad4a133/D069EF11DC3784A6D073B097E720572E.2018.05.15-transcript-release-findings-9-am.pdf
  22. ^ Miller, Justin (16 May 2018). "Kremlin Used NRA to Help Trump in 2016, Senate Report Says". Retrieved 20 May 2018 – via www.thedailybeast.com.
  23. ^ "Ukraine-/Russia-related Designations and Identification Update". United States Department of the Treasury. 2018-04-06. Retrieved 2018-04-06.
  24. ^ "Maria Butina Loved Guns, Trump and Russia. It Was a Cover, Prosecutors Say". New York Times. Retrieved July 18, 2018.