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Russian Oligarch's Ex-Wife Continues $7Bln Divorce Battle

Vladimir Potanin

The long-running divorce battle of billionaire businessman Vladimir Potanin took a new turn Monday, when his ex-wife lodged an appeal with Russia’s Supreme Court, the Interfax news agency reported Friday.

Natalya Potanina has twice failed in Moscow courts to gain access to half of her ex-husband’s shares in the Interros group and Norilsk Nickel metallurgy company. A Moscow City Court ruled in January that as the shares were owned by Interros International Investments, a holding company registered in Cyprus, and not Potanin himself, they could not be considered the former couple’s jointly held property, Interfax reported.

A spokeswoman for Potanina said that the Supreme Court had previously recognized shares to be joint property in divorce proceedings and that the appeal looks to reverse the Moscow City Court judgment. 

She also confirmed that they would pursue the claim in British courts should the appeal prove unsuccessful. Potanina has previously promised to hand over any money she wins to the government, Interfax reported.

Potanin has been accused of keeping his money out of his wife’s reach within complex company structures.

“It’s a familiar story, deprive me of money and get me out of the house,” said Potanina, in an interview with the Guardian in London, her home since 2014.

Vladimir Potanin is ranked by Forbes as Russia’s fourth and the world’s 78th richest person, with a personal fortune of $13.5 billion. 

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