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Aide Helped Controversial Russian Meet McCain

Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska has been suspected of having ties to organized crime.
Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska has been suspected of having ties to organized crime. (By Dmitry Beliakov -- Bloomberg News)
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Seven months later, in August 2006, Davis was present again at a social gathering that was also attended by McCain and Deripaska, this time in Montenegro, another Eastern European country in which Davis's firm was working. The three were among a few dozen people dining at a restaurant during an official Senate trip.

Davis was a paid consultant to the governing party in Montenegro and had advised it on a just-ratified independence referendum, Salter said. That was why he was at the dinner, he added.

Afterward, a group from the dinner took boats out to a nearby yacht moored in the Adriatic Sea, where champagne and pastries were served, partly in honor of McCain's 70th birthday.

Salter said neither McCain nor Davis recalls Deripaska being on the yacht after dinner.

"The Montenegro government handled all arrangements with the codel, including invitations for the dinner," Salter said in an e-mail, using a term for "congressional delegation." "Rick was not involved in making dinner plans for either the government or the codel." He added: "I assume the government invited him [Deripaska] because he is reportedly the largest single employer in the country."

In Switzerland, Davis was "an invited guest at the World Economic Summit at Davos and was not traveling with or serving in a capacity as staff to the senator," Salter said.

Staff writer Peter Baker contributed to this report.


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