A former KGB chief suspected of helping compile the controversial Trump dossier has been found dead, as the US president prepares to speak to Vladimir Putin today.
Oleg Erovinkin, a former general in the KGB and its modern successor the FSB, was found dead in the back of his car in Moscow on December 26.
The mysterious circumstances surrounding his death have led to speculation that he was murdered.
Many are even suggesting that his death is somehow linked to the explosive dossier, which was compiled by British former spy Christopher Steele.
Erovinkin was an aide to Igor Sechin, a former deputy prime minister and head of the state-owned oil company Rosneft. Sechin is repeatedly named in the dossier, which sparked an international scandal when it was published earlier this month.
Despite the dossier’s lurid claims sparking an international furore, US President Donald Trump has repeatedly dismissed it as ‘fake news’.
RIA Novosti, the Russian state-run news agency, reported that Erovinkin’s body was ‘found in a black Lexus’ and that ‘a large-scale investigation has been commenced in the area. Erovinkin’s body was sent to the FSB morgue’.
The FSB continues to investigate, and the cause of death has yet to be confirmed.
Rosneft’s press secretary Mikhail Leontiev told the Moscow Times that the 61-year-old suffered from heart problems.
Meanwhile, President Trump is getting ready for a phone call with Russian President Putin today – their first official contact since his inauguration last week.
Moscow apparently has high hopes for the call, with Russian Security Council chief Nikolai Patrushev saying that ‘everything will be positive’.
Ahead of the chat, however, Trump has been non-committal about whether he would lift American sanctions on Moscow.
When asked about the economic penalties on Friday, he told reporters: ‘We’ll see what happens.’