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Wednesday 13 December 2017

Ex-TD Conor linked with oligarch after move to Moscow

Sam Smyth

FORMER minister of state Conor Lenihan, who lost his Dail seat in February's election, has moved to Russia.

Mr Lenihan has an apartment in Moscow, where he advises clients in the Russian Federation about science and technology, while he also does business in London.

The former minister for science and technology was headhunted by the Skolkovo Foundation after his experience in attracting knowledge-based industries to Ireland.

The foundation has $10bn available to match investments from western companies in IT medicine and science.

Arkady Dvorkovich, the chief economics adviser to Russian President Dimitry Medvedev, is working closely with Mr Lenihan on the Skolkovo project.

The former TD's new role has also seen him linked to other heavy-hitters in Moscow, including billionaire Victor Vekselberg, Russia's fourth wealthiest oligarch.

Estimated by 'Forbes' magazine to be worth €16bn, Mr Vekselberg is president of the Skolkovo Foundation.

The move to Moscow was a big departure for the 48-year-old scion of the Lenihan political dynasty who is using his mother's home in Castleknock as his Irish address.

"When journalists saw him using his mum's address they assumed he was planning to run in the by-election, but it was a personal convenience not a political move," said a family friend.

Before he entered politics in Ireland, Mr Lenihan lived in London, covering Westminster as a journalist and wrote for the 'Examiner' newspaper in Cork among other publications.

He also lived and worked in Prague for two years, setting up a radio station for Denis O'Brien's Communicorp Group before returning home to join the family business -- politics.

Irish Independent

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