The allegations surrounding SPAG and Putin could reverberate in Europe and America when officials of the United States and 28 other governments meet in Paris next week to consider whether to impose sanctions on Russia for shirking on money-laundering enforcement.
Since his time at SPAG, Putin maintained a close relationship with the co-founder of SPAG's Russian operations, Vladimir Smirnov.
While company officials have played down Putin's involvement in SPAG and the Kremlin declined to comment, a Newsweek investigation suggests Putin was at least in regular, and sometimes close, contact with some of the company's key Russian and foreign directors over a period of years and even signed important St.
The company operated in obscurity until two years ago, when SPAG caught the eye of U.
Company officials have since played down Putin's involvement in SPAG.
Klaus-Peter Sauer, a German accountant who helped found SPAG and is still a company director, says he met Putin about six times both in Russia and Frankfurt.
SPAG company records obtained by Newsweek from a German commercial registry show that in December 1994, Putin signed an affidavit on St.
program provides Pennsylvania's municipalities with state matching grant funds to assist in planning for growth, preparing and maintaining up-to-date strategic community development plans, and implementing zoning ordinances, subdivision and land-development regulations.
Robinson Township will receive a $5,000 SPAG
grant to complete Phase II of the proposed Robinson Township Work Program, updating zoning, subdivision and land-development ordinances to comply with the townships' comprehensive plan and the Municipalities Planning Code.
Even today, Spags remains ruggedly individualistic-selling everything from Indian River oranges to authentic Oriental rugs.
Spags will continue to operate its original store located in Shrewsbury, MA.