Florida pension investments flow to Russian companies targeted by Trump administration

Florida pension investments flow to Russian companies targeted by Trump administration

TALLAHASSEE — Florida’s massive public pension fund includes $160 million invested in Russian companies sanctioned this year by the Trump administration, including a handful of holdings on the state’s own list of “scrutinized companies” because of their ties to Iran, according to state investment records reviewed and analyzed by POLITICO. The list of companies reads like a who’s who of those starring in the rise of U.S.-Russia tensions. Investments include companies run by oligarchs linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin, state-run companies, enterprises that have been sanctioned for meddling in U.S. elections and companies owned by a billionaire targeted by special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into whether President Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with Russians. Trump has called the Mueller probe a “witch hunt.” POLITICO requested records from Florida’s State Board of Administration that detailed when the state first invested in Russian entities, the total shares held and their overall value. State and federal law do not prohibit investing in these companies. Of the state’s current investments in Russian companies, the first was made in 2009, while $65 million of the total was made since 2016. “We’ll look into this,” McKinley Lewis, a spokesman for Florida Gov. Rick Scott, said when asked about the Russian investments. He stressed the governor has “no role” in picking investments, which are managed by outside firms. Of the investments in Russian companies, $15 million was made this year, according to records reviewed by POLITICO. This includes investments in big-name Russian companies such as state-run […]

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