Vladimir Putin’s daughter has been parachuted in to help Russia dodge the impact of Western sanctions over her father’s war in Ukraine.
Katerina Tikhonova, 35, is the new co-chairman of a high-powered group supervising import substitution.
She has been long tipped for a major political role amid reports of Putin’s ailing health, and this could be the first sign of new prominence for the high-kicking ‘rock’n’roll’ dancer.
Her appointment is with the powerful Kremlin-loyal Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP) which represents major state and private businesses.
Many have been badly hit by sanctions in response to the invasion of Ukraine.
The new role for Tikhonova comes as Putin has legalized sanctions-busting ‘parallel imports’ to secure a flow of restricted Western goods into Russia via third countries and unlicensed means.
The union avoided mentioning she is Putin’s daughter when announcing she will co-chair the Coordinating Council on Import Substitution and Technological Independence, which aims to speedily reduce Russian reliance on Western products and expertise, so mitigating the impact of sanctions.
She is currently the director-general of the low-key National Intellectual Development Foundation.
Tikhonova – who recently underwent expensive beauty treatments in Munich – is Putin’s second daughter by former first lady Lyudmila, his ex-wife.
Separately, there has been speculation she could be drafted into parliament and take a prominent role with the main pro-Putin political party, United Russia, amid fears that Putin’s health problems mean he cannot remain in power long term.