Vlad Putin craves Crimea, nephew Roman consults

Russian national flag waves during a rally in Seavastopol, Crimea, Ukraine 12 March 2014. . EPA/ZURAB KURTSIKIDZE
Russian flags are flown during a rally in the Crimean city of Seavastopol, . (Zurab  Kurtsikidze/ European Pressphoto Agency)

Vladimir Putin is focusing on annexing Crimea and maybe invading eastern Ukraine. But not all the Russian president’s family is obsessed about that.

Seems Roman Putin, Vlad’s nephew or, some sources say, his first cousin once removed, has just  opened up a consulting firm, Putin Consulting, to “attract foreign investors to Russia”, according to a Wednesday morning news release from Russia.

The idea, Roman says in the release, is “to simplify entry into the Russian market and minimize operational and administrative barriers.” (Wonder how he’ll do that.) The country has had “stable growth” in recent years, he said, “a signal to the international business community that regardless of the political situation, their investment in Russia will be under special protection.”

Of course the Russian stock market may not be in the best of shape these days, and sanctions from the European Union and the United States are about to bite hard, but Roman,  a well-known entrepreneur, is optimistic that “the period of geopolitical instability will soon be over.”

He’s either privy to some very, very inside information from the family or maybe smoking something Americans can only get legally in Colorado and Washington state.

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.
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Al Kamen · March 12