Arkady Rotenberg

Arkady Romanovich Rotenberg (Russian: Аркадий Романович Ротенберг; born 15 December 1951) is a Russian billionaire businessman. With his brother Boris Rotenberg, he was co-owner of the Stroygazmontazh (S.G.M. group), the largest construction company for gas pipelines and electrical power supply lines in Russia.

He was listed by Forbes in 621st place among the world’s wealthiest persons in 2014.[2] He is a close confidant, business partner, and childhood friend of president Vladimir Putin.[3][4][5] As of November 2017, Forbes estimates his fortune at $2.5 billion. He is subject to personal sanctions by the United States government related to events during the Ukrainian crisis.



Rotenberg is of Jewish ancestry.[6][7] He was born in 1951 in Leningrad, where his father, Roman, worked in management at the Red Dawn telephone factory, allowing the family to avoid living in a communal apartment.[8][9][10] In 1963, when he was age twelve, Rotenberg and Vladimir Putin both joined Anatoly Rakhlin’s sambo club.[8][11]

In 1978, Rotenberg graduated from the Lesgaft National State University of Physical Education, Sport and Health and became a judo trainer.[8] After Putin returned to Russia in 1990, Rotenberg trained with him several times a week.[5][8][11] During the 1990s, Rotenberg and his brother, Boris, who had moved to Finland, traded in petroleum products.[8] When Putin became vice-mayor, Rotenberg secured funding from Gennady Timchenko to found Yavara-Neva, a professional judo club.[8] Later, after the club won nine European Judo Championships and trained four Olympic champions, it was given a new state-funded $180 million facility, including a thousand-seat arena and a yacht club.[8]

In 2000, Putin, who had become President of Russia, created Rosspirtprom, a state-owned enterprise controlling 30% of Russia’s vodka market, and put Rotenberg in control.[8] In 2001, Rotenberg and his brother founded the SMP bank (Russian: банк «Северный морской путь»), which operates in 40 Russian cities with over 100 branches, more than half of them in the Moscow area.[5] SMP oversees the operation of more than 900 ATM-machines. SMP bank also became a leading large-diameter gas pipe supplier.[8]

Gazprom often appears to have paid Rotenberg inflated prices. In 2007, Gazprom rejected an earlier plan to build a 350-mile pipeline and instead paid Rotenberg $45 billion, 300% of ordinary costs, to build a 1,500 mile pipeline to the Arctic Circle.[8] In 2008, Rotenberg formed Stroygazmontazh (SGM) with five companies he had purchased from Gazprom for $348 million.[8] The next year, the company earned over $2 billion in revenue.[8] Rotenberg then bought Northern Europe Pipe Project, which eventually supplied 90% of Gazprom’s large diameter pipes and operated at a 30% profit margin, twice the industry average.[8] In 2013, Gazprom increased Rotenberg’s contract for a Krasnodar pipeline by 45%, then continued payments for a year after the Bulgarian segment was canceled.[8]

While he was the Minister of Transport of the Russian Federation from 20 May 2004 to 2012, Igor Levitin ensured in 2010 that Arkady Rotenberg’s firms (Mostotrest) would construct the toll roads on Russian federal highways.[12][13]

Rotenberg is the president of the Hockey Club Dynamo Moscow. In 2013, he became a member of the committee of the International Judo Federation.[2] In preparation for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Rotenberg won contracts worth $7 billion, including a $2 billion coastal highway and an underwater gas pipeline that came in at 300% of average costs.[8]

Rotenberg was named in the Panama Papers.[14] Those leaked legal documents show Rotenberg sent $231 million in loans to a company in the British Virgin Islands in 2013.[8]

In 2013, Rotenberg became the chairman of the Enlightenment Publishing House [ru], which had once been the biggest supplier for textbooks in the Soviet Union. After Enlightenment became a private company in 2011, the government of the Russian Federation started to make several changes in that sector. In 2013, an internal council was formed by the Ministry of Education to check all textbooks. Many of Enlightenment’s competitors’ books did not pass this new evaluation and so Enlightenment won about 70% of the contracts for new textbooks in the Russian Federation in 2014.[3]

In 2015, Arkady Rotenberg sold to his son Igor Rotenberg a number of assets including up to 79% of Gazprom Drilling (Bureniye),[15] 28% of the road construction company Mostotrest,[16] and 33.3% of Jersey-based TPS Real Estate Holdings Ltd.[17][18] Alexander Ponomarenko and Aleksandr Skorobogatko own 66.6% of TPC Real Estates Holdings.[17][19][20]

It was reported that Arkady Rotenberg made this move after being placed on the U.S. sanctions list.[21]


Opening of the Crimean Bridge in May 2018

As a result of the annexation of Crimea by the Russian FederationBarack Obama, then President of the United States, signed an executive order instructing his government to impose sanctions on the Rotenberg brothers and other close friends of President Putin, including Sergei Ivanov and Gennadi Timchenko. These persons were placed on the Specially Designated Nationals List.[22][23][24][25][26][27]

As a result of the sanctions, Visa and MasterCard stopped servicing SMP Bank.[8] In September 2014, Italy seized €30 million of Rotenberg’s real estate, including four villas in Sardinia and Tarquinia, and a hotel in Rome.[8] U.S added Arkady and Igor Rotenberg on their blacklist of Russian oligarchs, freezing assets for US$65 million in the same year.[28] In November 2016, the General Court of the European Union confirmed the sanctions against Russia and the freezing of Arkady’s funds which had taken effect on 30 July 2014, but limited to the new properties added by the Council of Europe in March 2015.[29]

In September 2014, Novaya Gazeta published a journalistic inquiry of Anna Politkovskaja and Aleksei Navalny, revealing that Igor Rotenberg, son of Arkady, secretly controlled an estate in Monte Argentario through a society registered in Vaduz.[30]

The Russian State Duma then proposed a bill, known as the Rotenberg Law, allowing sanctioned Russians to get compensated by the state, but it was declined.[3][31]

Rotenberg is one of many Russian “oligarchs” named in the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, CAATSA, signed into law by President Donald Trump in 2017.[32] The whole vicenda could have had impacts on the Politkovskaja’s and Navalny’s cases.[citation needed]


Rotenberg’s personal wealth has been estimated in July 2021 at $2.9 billion.[2] He used to own a 2009 Bombardier Global 5000 (registered M-BRRB) however was forced to sell it due to the sanctions placed upon him.[33] He owns a 2011 Benetti 65 meter yacht named Rahil.[34] The yacht can accommodate ten guests in seven staterooms.[35]

Personal life

In 2005, Rotenberg married his second wife Natalia Rotenberg, who is about 30 years his junior. Their two children, Varvara and Arkady, live in the United Kingdom with Natalia.[36] They divorced in 2015 in the U.K. While the financial details of the divorce are private, the agreement includes division of the use of a £35 million Surrey mansion and a £8 million apartment in London. The couple’s lawyers obtained a secrecy order preventing media in the U.K. from reporting on the divorce, but the order was overturned on appeal.[37]

His older three children include Igor (Russian: Игорь Аркадьевич; born 9 September 1974), who is a Russian billionaire businessman,[38] Liliya (Russian: Лилия Аркадьевна; born 17 April 1978), who is a doctor and since 2014 has been living in Germany and co-owns the TPS Nedvizhimost (an investment group that owns shopping malls and entertainment complexes in the Russian cities MoscowSochiKrasnodarNovosibirsk and Ocean Plaza in KievUkraine),[39][40] and son Paul (Russian: Павел Аркадьевич; born 29 February 2000), who is a competitive hockey player.[41] According to the BBC, Arkady Rotenberg says he is the owner of Putin’s Palace, an opulent Black Sea mansion, not President Vladimir Putin, as the leader’s critics had alleged.


  1. ^ “Ротенберг Аркадий Романович” [Rotenberg Arkady Romanovich]. Kommersant (in Russian). 28 April 2010. Archived from the original on 7 May 2010. Retrieved 6 September 2020.
  2. Jump up to:a b c d “Forbes profile: Arkady Rotenberg”Forbes. Archived from the original on 16 November 2020. Retrieved 1 July 2021.
  3. Jump up to:a b c Becker, Jo; Myers, Steven Lee (2 November 2014). “Putin’s Friend Profits in Purge of Schoolbooks”The New York Times. p. A1. Archived from the original on 18 May 2017. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
  4. ^ “Russian billionaire Arkady Rotenberg says ‘Putin Palace’ is his”BBC News. 30 January 2021.
  5. Jump up to:a b c Ахмирова, Римма (Akhmirova, Rimma) (30 June 2009). “В тени путинского кимоно” [In the shadow of Putin’s kimono]. «Собеседник» ( (in Russian). Archived from the original on 5 July 2009. Retrieved 25 September 2021.
  6. ^ Sheldon Kirshner (23 November 2015). “Russia’s New Tsar”THE TIMES OF ISRAEL.
  7. ^ Paul Roderick Gregory (14 October 2014). “Putin’s Reaction To Sanctions Is Destroying The Economy And China Won’t Help”Forbes.
  8. Jump up to: Yaffa, Joshua (29 May 2017). “Putin’s Shadow Cabinet and the Bridge to Crimea”The New YorkerArchived from the original on 7 June 2017. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
  9. ^ Sheldon Kirshner (23 November 2015). “Russia’s New Tsar”Times of IsraelArchived from the original on 2 May 2016. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  10. ^ Paul Roderick Gregory (14 October 2014). “Putin’s Reaction To Sanctions Is Destroying The Economy And China Won’t Help”ForbesArchived from the original on 5 August 2015. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  11. Jump up to:a b Канев, Сергей (Kanev, Sergey) (7 October 2019). “”Бандитский Ротенберг”, или За кого не стыдно Владимиру Путину” [“Gangster Rothenberg”, or for whom Vladimir Putin is not ashamed]. МБХ медиа (in Russian). Archived from the original on 8 December 2019. Retrieved 25 September 2021. The author Sergey Kanev is from Центр «Досье» ( Archived on on 9 October 2019 as Как расцвел “Путус” Вовы-Однорукого и Лени-Спортсмена: История питерского “авторитета” Владимира Путырского и бывшего тренера Путина дзюдоиста-рецидивиста Леонида Усвяцова (How Vova-One-Armed and Leni-Sportsman’s “Putus” blossomed: The story of the St. Petersburg “authority” Vladimir Putyrsky and the former coach of Putin, the judoka-recidivist Leonid Usvyatsov).
  12. ^ Сагдиев, Ринат (Sagdiev, Rinat) (20 September 2010). Платные дороги в России строят только знакомые Владимира Путина: Через несколько лет в России появятся две первые платные дороги. Обе идут из Москвы и строятся фактически на государственные деньги. За обеими стоят петербургские знакомые Владимира Путина: Юрий Ковальчук и Аркадий Ротенберг [Only Putin’s friends build toll roads in Russia: In a few years, the first two toll roads will appear in Russia. Both come from Moscow and are actually built on public money. Behind both are Vladimir Putin’s Saint Petersburg acquaintances: Yuri Kovalchuk and Arkady Rotenberg]. Vedomosti (in Russian). Archived from the original on 22 June 2019. Retrieved 27 October 2018.
  13. ^ Левитин, Игорь Евгеньевич [Levitin, Igor Yevgenyevich]. (in Russian). Archived from the original on 28 October 2018. Retrieved 27 October 2018.
  14. ^ “Panama Papers: The Power Players”International Consortium of Investigative JournalistsArchived from the original on 4 April 2016.
  15. ^ “US frustrates Russian oligarchs’ cat and mouse over sanctions”Financial Times. 9 August 2015. Archived from the original on 24 October 2020. Retrieved 6 September 2020.
  16. ^ Пастушин, Алексей (Pastushin, Alexey) (23 July 2018). Партнер друзей Путина: чем известен спонсор “русской шпионки” Бутиной [Partner of Putin’s friends: what is known for the sponsor of the “Russian spy” Butina]. Forbes (in Russian). Archived from the original on 30 January 2021. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  17. Jump up to: Партнеры Аркадия Ротенберга наняли лоббистов в США: Совладельцы аэропорта Шереметьево Александр Пономаренко и Александр Скоробогатько наняли фирму для лоббирования своих интересов в США. Оба бизнесмена — давние партнеры попавшего под санкции Аркадия Ротенберга и его сына Игоря [Arkady Rotenberg’s partners hired lobbyists in the US: Sheremetyevo Airport co-owners Alexander Ponomarenko and Alexander Skorobogatko hired a company to lobby their interests in the United States. Both businessmen are longtime partners who fell under the sanctions of Arkady Rotenberg and his son Igor]. RBC (in Russian). 19 April 2018. Archived from the original on 24 October 2018. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  18. ^ Ляув, Бэла (Love, Bela); Филатов, Антон (Filatov, Anton) (17 May 2015). Структура Игоря Ротенберга может построить транспортно-пересадочный узел: Размер инвестиций – до $340 млн [The structure of Igor Rotenberg can build a transport hub: Investment size – up to $340 million]. Vedomosti (in Russian). Archived from the original on 26 October 2018. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  19. ^ Bosilkovsky, Igor (30 January 2018). “Treasury Department’s Russia Oligarchs List Is Copied From Forbes”ForbesArchived from the original on 24 October 2018. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  20. ^ Игорь Ротенберг выкупил у отца “Газпром бурение” и долю в “ТПС Недвижимости” [Igor Rotenberg bought out of his father Gazprom drilling and a share in TPS Real Estate] (in Russian). Interfax. 30 October 2014. Archived from the original on 24 October 2018. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  21. ^ Ensign, Rachel Louise (12 February 2015). “Russian Asset Sales Muddy Sanction Compliance”Wall Street JournalISSN 0099-9660Archived from the original on 3 October 2018. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  22. ^ “Executive Order – Blocking Property of Additional Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine”White House Office of the Press Secretary. 20 March 2014. Archived from the original on 14 May 2017. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  23. ^ “Treasury Sanctions Russian Officials, Members Of The Russian Leadership’s Inner Circle, And An Entity For Involvement In The Situation In Ukraine” (Press release). United States Department of the Treasury. 20 March 2014. Archived from the original on 31 May 2020. Retrieved 6 September 2020.
  24. ^ “Ukraine-related Designations”. United States Department of the Treasury. Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  25. ^ “Specially Designated Nationals And Blocked Persons List (SDN) Human Readable Lists”. United States Department of the Treasury. Archived from the original on 29 August 2020. Retrieved 6 September 2020.
  26. ^ Shuklin, Peter (21 March 2014). “Putin’s inner circle: who got in a new list of US sanctions”. Archived from the original on 7 February 2015. Retrieved 20 February 2016.
  27. ^ Executive Order 13661: Blocking Property of Additional Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine, 79 Fed. Reg 15,535 (19 March 2016).
  28. ^ “Sanctions over Ukraine – Impact on Russia” (PDF). European Parliament. 1 March 2016. p. 6. Archived (PDF) from the original on 5 April 2006.
  29. ^ “The General Court confirms the fund-freezing measures imposed on Mr Arkady Rotenberg for the period 2015-2016. However, it annuls the freezing of funds for the period 2014-2015” (PDF). Luxembourg: General Court of the European Union (Press release n° 131/16). 30 November 2016. p. 2. Archived from the original on 16 December 2016. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
  30. ^ Biondani, Paolo (28 January 2019). “Gli oligarchi amici di Vladimir Putin che fanno affari in Italia protetti dalle offshore”L’Espresso (in Italian). Archived from the original on 16 October 2020. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
  31. ^ “Законопроект № 607554-6 (В архиве)” [Bill No. 607554-6 (Archived)] (in Russian). State DumaArchived from the original on 4 October 2019. Retrieved 6 September 2020.
  32. ^ “Report to Congress Pursuant to Section 241 of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act of 2017 Regarding Senior Foreign Political Figures and Oligarchs in the Russian Federation and Russian Parastatal Entities” (PDF). 29 January 2018. Archived from the original on 12 October 2020. Retrieved 30 June 2019.
  33. ^ Times, The Moscow (23 January 2019). “Russian Billionaire Brothers Forced to Sell Private Jets Over Sanctions — Forbes”The Moscow Times. Retrieved 15 January 2022.
  34. ^ “Inside RAHIL Yacht • Benetti • 2011 • Value $75M • Owner Arkady Rotenberg”SuperYachtFan. Retrieved 15 January 2022.
  35. ^ “RAHIL” Retrieved 15 January 2022.
  36. ^ Ткачёв, Иван; Сухаревская, Алена (6 August 2015). Бывшая жена Аркадия Ротенберга подала на экс-супруга в Лондонский суд: Бывшая жена Аркадия Ротенберга инициировала судебный процесс в Лондоне с целью получить компенсацию от миллиардера, выяснил РБК. Дело будет рассматриваться в феврале 2016 года и осложняется санкциями ЕС против бизнесмена [The former wife of Arkady Rotenberg filed for ex-spouse in a London court: The former wife of Arkady Rotenberg initiated a lawsuit in London in order to receive compensation from the billionaire, found RBC. The case will be considered in February 2016 and complicated by EU sanctions against a businessman]. RBK (in Russian). Archived from the original on 27 October 2018. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  37. ^ O’Neill, Sean (24 February 2018). “Putin crony Arkady Rotenberg loses right to secrecy in Britain”. the Times (London). Archived from the original on 24 February 2018. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  38. ^ Кто есть кто: Ротенберг Игорь Аркадьевич [Who Is Who: Rotenberg Igor Arkadyevich]. Delovoy Petersburg (in Russian). Archived from the original on 24 October 2018. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  39. ^ (in Ukrainian) Russians intend to return Ocean Plaza Aliyev – media Archived 12 February 2019 at the Wayback MachineUkrayinska Pravda (12 February 2019).
  40. ^ “Родственная сделка: почему Игорь Ротенберг продал долю в TPS Real Estate: Игорь Ротенберг, который с 6 апреля находится в санкционном списке Минфина США, за неделю до этого вышел из состава акционеров девелоперской компании TPS Real Estate. Новым совладельцем стала его сестра Лилия Ротенберг” [Related transaction: why Igor Rotenberg sold his stake in TPS Real Estate: Igor Rotenberg, who has been on the sanctions list of the US Treasury since April 6, a week before, left the shareholders of the real estate development company TPS Real Estate. New sister was his sister Lilia Rotenberg]. RBC (in Russian). 24 April 2018. Archived from the original on 24 October 2018. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  41. ^ Павел Ротенберг [Paul Rotenberg]. (in Russian). Archived from the original on 12 June 2018. Retrieved 26 October 2018.

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