Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday he had no business relation with Gennady Timchenko, the owner Gunvor Group, of one of the world's largest oil trading companies.
"All his business projects are his own business. I have never interfered in it and have no such desire. I hope that he will not poke his nose into my business, either," Putin told a meeting with writers and book publishers.
In 2008, the Financial Times said that Timchenko's business success was based on friendly relations with Putin. Timchenko wrote in a letter to FT that the article had many inaccuracies and false statements.
Putin said he has knownTimchenko since the 'nineties, when both worked in St Petersburg.
"He worked with his friends and colleagues in Kirishinnefteorgsintez company. During the privatization years, they separated the company's department engaged in oil and oil products export and established a private company," Putin said.
Besides Gunvor Group, registered in Switzerland, Timchenko owns 23 percent in Russia's largest independent gas producer Novatek and runs Volga Resources SICAV SIF S.A private investment fund.