Tony Blair’s non-profit institute received funds from Russian billionaire who has been sanctioned for ties to the Kremlin, according to new documents

  • A sanctioned Russian billionaire donated money to Tony Blair’s organisation
  • Latest accounts reveal links with industrial mogul Moshe Kantor, born in Russia
  • Sanctions on Moshe were imposed in April after Russian invasion of Ukraine

Tony Blair’s organisation has received funds from a Russian billionaire who has been sanctioned for his ties to the Kremlin, according to new documents. 

The latest accounts for the former Prime Minister’s non-profit institute reveal its links with industrial mogul Moshe Kantor, who was born in Russia. 

Sanctions on Mr Kantor, who is worth an estimated £8billion, were imposed by the Government in April following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine on February 24. 

The Government said Mr Kantor was the ‘largest shareholder of fertilizer company Acron, with vital strategic significance for the Russian government’. 

‘We are showing the Russian elite that they cannot wash their hands of the atrocities committed on Putin’s orders,’ a Government Minister said at the time. 

Originally from Moscow, Moshe Kantor (left) now has British citizenship. He was awarded Russia’s Order of Honour by President Vladimir Putin (right) ‘in recognition of his professional achievements’

Documents filed with Companies House reveal Mr Kantor made annual charitable donations to the Tony Blair Institute which was enough to support ‘around two members of staff’. 

The institute – set up to support globalisation – said it no longer received funds from him, but did not say whether it had returned any that had already been donated. 

Mr Blair’s former links with the oligarch led to a prestigious role on Mr Kantor’s European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation, which appointed the former Labour leader as its chairman in 2015. 

The ECTR was listed among the Tony Blair Institute’s wealthy donors. But their relationship ended in April after Mr Kantor was added to the UK sanctions list, alongside other seven oligarchs. His vast wealth stems from his shareholding in Acron. 

Originally from Moscow, Mr Kantor now has British citizenship. He was awarded Russia’s Order of Honour by Putin ‘in recognition of his professional achievements’. 

In recent years he has arranged for delegations to meet the Russian leader in his role as President of the European Jewish Congress. 

The wealthy Russian has long cultivated deep ties with British politicians and Establishment figures, including the Royal Family. 

The Tony Blair Institute’s links with Mr Kantor are just one example of the non-profit organisation’s reach among the global elite. 

The institute’s latest figures revealed that turnover surged from £40.25million to £71.8million last year, while the number of staff has grown from 263 to 440. Mr Blair does not take a salary for his role as its executive chairman.

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