Putin gives big China role to sanctions-hit Timchenko

ST PETERSBURG, Russia Thu May 22, 2014 7:14am EDT

ST PETERSBURG, Russia May 22 (Reuters) - Businessman Gennady Timchenko, who has had sanctions imposed on him by the United States, has been appointed Russia's main point person for business relations with China and expects a flurry of deals in a shift away from the West.

The sanctions imposed on Timchenko are part of a broader drive by the West to put pressure on President Vladimir Putin and business and political leaders loyal to him over Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

"You know what Putin said? He introduced me (to Chinese businessmen) by saying now Mr Timchenko is the head of our business council. In other words - it is my words here - he is our main man for China. From the point of view of business relations. That was yesterday," said Timchenko who accompanied Putin on a trip to China. (Reporting by Dmitry Zhdannikov and Denis Pinchuk)

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