Technology company bidding for Pentagon contract to store sensitive US data has links to sanctioned Russian oligarch
A technology company linked to a sanctioned Russian oligarch is among the bidders for a Pentagon contract to store sensitive data — possibly even U.S. nuclear codes.
Viktor Vekselberg, who is close to the Kremlin and has ties to former Trump organization attorney Michael Cohen, also has links to one of the bidders for the cyber-cloud database called the JEDI project, reported the BBC.
The Russian oligarch has links to the cyber-investment firm C5 Group, which has worked closely with the leading bidder, Amazon Web Services.
Both C5 and AWS told the BBC that the Vekselber-linked investment firm was not involved in any way with the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure bid.
All bids for the cloud are sealed, and the Pentagon refused to comment on the report.
The U.S. Treasury Department has sanctioned Vekselberg under the Magnitsky Act for his links to the Kremlin, and he was questioned by agents working for special counsel Robert Mueller — who also seized his electronic devices.
Vekselberg, a Putin friend who founded the Renova Group investment firm, was also a business partner of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross through the Bank of Cyprus.
The JEDI would hold military data — including classified details about weapons systems, military personnel, intelligence and operations — held in a storage cloud, rather than smaller servers across different departments at the Pentagon.