Connect with us

Tech

UK Telecoms company has links to Russian oligarchs and sanctioned deals

UK Telecoms company has links to Russian oligarchs and sanctioned deals

Published

on

UK Telecoms company has links to Russian oligarchs and sanctioned deals

A UK Telecoms provider has been awarded Russian state contracts from agencies controlled by sanctioned individuals, including an ally of Vladimir Putin, while its Tory-donor backer posts anti-Ukrainian propaganda on social media.

RETN Capital, which provides services across Europe, claims to have limited its exposure to Russia since the invasion of Ukraine and complied with sanctions, but instead its revenue from the country has rocketed since the war began, partly driven by contracts from sanctioned state entities, according to a report in the Daily Telegraph.

An investigation by the newspaper also found that the co-owner of RETN’s primary institutional investor, Njord Partners, was posting content on X (formerly Twitter) attacking Ukraine and President Zelensky.

One repost stated: “Ukraine has always been a very dodgy place, run by friends of the globalists like Hunter Bider where incredibly shifty s*** goes on”.

Advertisement

Trolle also reposted: “Why is no one stating the obvious? Zelensky has regime-ending dirt on Biden and other Western leaders who have used Ukraine as their corruption playground for decades.”

Trolle, a former Oaktree Capital executive who donated £20,000 to Conservative MP Priti Patel when she was UK Home Secretary, also posted conspiracy theories on his X account, the Telegraph reported.

Trolle’s partner at Njord Partners, Jakob Kjellberg, is currently the Chairman of RETN.

A repost of anti-Ukrainian propaganda (left,centre) by Arvid Trolle (far right) on X in November 2022


RETN’s wholly owned Russian subsidiary received contracts from state entities which have been sanctioned since the war in Ukraine, according to Interfax-Spark, a database of official contracts.

In December 2022, RETN’s Russian arm won a contract with the Kurchatov Institute, a Russian state-controlled aviation research agency which is sanctioned by the UK and US. Its general director Mikhail Kovalchuk and his brother Yury, a close ally of President Putin, are subject to sanctions by the UK, Canada and Ukraine.

Advertisement

Two months later RETN was awarded a contract with the Russian State Enterprise Fuel and Energy Complex of St Petersburg – known as GUP TEK. Both GUP TEK and its general director, Ivan Boltenkov, are sanctioned by Ukraine.

RETN’s ties with the Russian state and sanctioned agencies are also apparent in the company’s 2022 financial statements, the newspaper reported. One of the main customers of RETN’s Russian subsidiary is PJSC Rostelecom, which is partially state-owned.

The Russian subsidiary is also a client of the Russian bank Rosbank. Both Rosbank and Rostelecom are sanctioned by the West and Ukraine.

There are also questions over the current ownership of RETN Partners, after its major shareholdings were moved around following the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Until January 2021, the largest individual beneficial shareholder of RETN Capital was Polina Maltseva, the daughter of Anatoly Danilitsky, a former Russian diplomat and executive director of the Russian National Reserve Corporation. Danilitsky was also previously the chairman of RETN’s Russian subsidiary.

Advertisement

The UK High Court once declared Maltseva to be a proxy for her father’s financial interests. She acquired her stake in RETN in 2016, shortly after her father resigned as chairman of its subsidiary. After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Maltseva’s stake in RETN was transferred to Anna Tindl, a German lawyer based in Vienna, Austria.

Tindl is also now a director of RETN, but unlike Kjellberg she does not appear on its website.

The slick public face of RETN (left) and the Russian oligarch whose daughter acted as a proxy (right)

Tindl has had partnerships with numerous entities connected with the Russian and Kremlin interests. This includes the Viennese radio station, Radio Ru, which changed it names to Alpha Radio in 2023. The station was founded by Yuri Aleksandrovich Zaitsev, another former Russian diplomat, whom the FBI suspected of espionage and operating as a Kremlin recruiter, while serving in Washington in 2013.

After the invasion of Ukraine, Zaitsev transferred his stake in Radio Ru to a German company, Iallo Gmbh, whose director is Tindl.

Tindl has also been a shareholder of Radio Ru since about the time Zaitsev founded it in 2019.

Advertisement

Other former shareholders of Radio Ru included, Andrei Zolotov, head of the Vienna bureau of the Putin aligned RIA Novosti.
A spokesman for RETN said: “RETN Capital Ltd is fully in compliance with all relevant international sanctions.

“Our group policies require all the independent local operating subsidiaries to do likewise and the training and software tools to identify any potential sanctioned transactions are provided to them.

“RETN has consistently strived to construct a reliable international network platform that fosters global interconnectivity and supports the development of the global internet. As such, the company’s products revolve around internet access and other communication services which are generally exempted from international sanctions as most Western governments see them as having fundamental importance for democracy, progress and freedom of expression.

“We will raise the alleged transactions which you have brought to our attention, with the management of RETNNet, our Russian subsidiary, and ask them to reconfirm full compliance with our group sanctions policies.”

Njord Partners were asked to comment but did not respond.

Advertisement

Tech

Apple CEO says looking into possibility of building manufacturing facility in Indonesia

Apple CEO says looking into possibility of building manufacturing facility in Indonesia

Published

on

By

Apple CEO says looking into possibility of building manufacturing facility in Indonesia

Apple Inc will look into the possibility of building a manufacturing facility in Indonesia, its CEO said on Wednesday after meeting President Joko Widodo.

Apple CEO Tim Cook arrived in Jakarta on Tuesday, after visiting Vietnam. He met with Jokowi, as the president popularly known, and will be inaugurating an academy for Apple developers on the island of Bali.

“We talked about the president’s desire to see manufacturing in the country, and it is something that we will look at,” Cook told reporters after the meeting. 

Apple has based much of its key manufacturing of iPads, AirPods and Apple Watches in Vietnam and suppliers for MacBooks are also investing in the country.

Advertisement

Apple has no manufacturing facilities in Indonesia but has established four Apple Developer Academies.

Indonesia has a huge tech-savvy population, making the Southeast Asian nation a key target market for tech-related investment.

Continue Reading

Tech

TikTok quizzed by EU on TikTok Lite launch in France, Spain

TikTok quizzed by EU on TikTok Lite launch in France, Spain

Published

on

By

TikTok quizzed by EU on TikTok Lite launch in France, Spain

ByteDance’s TikTok has been given 24 hours to provide a risk assessment on its new app TikTok Lite launched this month in France and Spain on concerns of its potential impact on children and users’ mental health, the European Commission said on Wednesday.

The move by EU industry chief Thierry Breton under EU tech rules known as the Digital Services Act (DSA) comes two months after he opened an investigation into TikTok over possible DSA breaches. 

The landmark DSA requires companies to do more to tackle illegal and harmful content on their platforms, with fines of up to 6% of their global annual turnover for violations.

The Commission on Wednesday said it had sent a request for information to TikTok, asking for more details on the risk assessment the social media company should have done before deploying TikTok Lite in the 27-country European Union.

Advertisement

“This concerns the potential impact of the new ‘Task and Reward Lite’ programme on the protection of minors, as well as on the mental health of users, in particular in relation to the potential stimulation of addictive behaviour,” the EU executive said in a document seen by Reuters.

“TikTok must provide the risk assessment for TikTok Lite in 24 hours and the other requested information by 26 April 2024, after which the Commission will analyse TikTok’s reply, and then assess next steps.”

The Commission also asked for details on measures the company has put in place to mitigate systemic risks.

TikTok Lite, an app with a new functionality aimed at users aged 18+, was launched in France and Spain this month.

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Tech

SiTime introduces chip aimed at saving power in AI data centers

SiTime introduces chip aimed at saving power in AI data centers

Published

on

By

SiTime introduces chip aimed at saving power in AI data centers

SiTime (SITM.O) on Wednesday introduced a chip that it says is designed to help data centers built for artificial intelligence applications run more efficiently.

SiTime makes what are known as timing chips, whose job is set a steady beat for all the parts of a computer and keep them running together in sync, like a conductor in an orchestra directing multiple groups of instruments. The company says its new line of chips, called Chorus, can do so with 10 times more precision than older styles of timing chips.

SiTime CEO Rajesh Vashist said the company aims to help customers save electricity with that precision. SiTime’s chips themselves require less than a watt of power, but powerful AI chips such as Nvidia’s (NVDA.O) require more than 1,000 watts of power.

With a more precise clock to keep all the elements of a computer in sync, parts of the machine can be turned off for a few milliseconds at a time when they are not in use. Over the multiple years a power-hungry data center server might be in use, it can generate energy savings, though the amount will depend on how SiTime’s chips are used.

Advertisement

“We deliver timing that they can rely on so that they can wake up their products and bring data more efficiently to them, rather than just running more often,” Vashist said in an interview.

SiTime said the chips will be available in the second half of this year.

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © GLOBAL TIMES PAKISTAN