A 5 billion rubles ($79 million) contract for toll collection on the Moscow Ring Road (CKAD) was awarded to the United Operator (CKAD) linked to oligarch Arkady Rotenberg, Fontanka reported last week.
Companies owned by U.S.-sanctioned Rotenberg are among the largest beneficiaries of state construction and infrastructure contracts in recent years.
In 2019, Russian gas major Gazprom said it would buy out two of Rotenberg’s subcontractors, at the same time as the co-operation with the state development bank VEB.RF was announced, which could bring a shift in how the Kremlin oversees mega-construction projects.
But the Moscow contract could indicate that after the reorganization, Rotenberg’s assets will remain in the lucrative public construction building segment. Fontanka notes a direct conflict of interest, as both the commissioner and the contractor are affiliated with Rotenberg and his associates.
The billionaire’s other transportation infrastructure contracts included the mega-bridge to the Crimea Peninsula and the controversial truck levy system Platon.
In the energy sector, Gazprom was previously reported to be seeking to buy out major subcontractors such as StroyGazMonthazh and Gazprom Bureniye of Rotenberg and StroyNefteGaz of Gennady Timchenko.
But the waters surrounding the deals have been muddied, as reports claimed that Rotenberg sold his StroyGazMontazh to a company registered a few months before the deal with unknown beneficiaries and later linked to the top managers of the gas giant.
At the same time, Rotenberg was rumored to be one of the mystery buyers of two of Gazprom’s recent quasi-treasury share SPOs.