Moscow, June 10 (ANI): A Russian oligarch coming to attend the London Olympics is in the midst of an international row over one of his ships 'exporting arms' to the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
According to The Telegraph, Vladimir Lisin, who owns a grouse shooting estate in Scotland, is one of Russia's t senior most Olympic officials.
The oligarch is offering a million dollars (650,000 pounds ) as reward to every Russian athlete who wins gold at the 2012 games.
Lisin is implicated in a growing scandal over the shipment of Russian weapons to Syria, where President Bashar al-Assad is waging a brutal war against his own people.
Lisin has emerged as the owner of a shipping company alleged to have transported a boat load of weapons just a fortnight ago from St Petersburg to Syria.
The claims concern the cargo delivered by the Professor Katsman, a container ship, which docked in Tartus, Syria's second biggest port, on May 26th, one day after the massacre of more than 100 people in Houla.
Dr Lisin was unavailable for comment, but a source close to him insisted he took no management role in his shipping companies, and therefore was very unlikely to know anything about a particular cargo.
Last night Dr Lisin's spokesman said that all future shipments would be checked to ensure no items "used to harm civilians" would be transported to Syria.
The oligarch is Russia's second richest man, having made his fortune, estimated at 10.2 billion pounds, in the steel industry.
Universal Cargo Logistics (UCL) admitted last week that the container vessel had docked in Syria, but said the firm had no knowledge of the cargo's contents as they were in sealed containers and passed by Russian customs officials.
The shipment has cast a spotlight on Russia's role in aiding and abetting the Assad regime, which has long been one of its best weapons customers in the Middle East. (ANI)