Media: Putin has spent more than 2.5 times the limit on his election campaign

The publication Sobesednik estimated that Russian President Vladimir Putin spent more than a billion rubles on his election campaign, which exceeds the limit more than twice over.

According to the publication’s estimates, Putin has spent from 114 to 264 million rubles ($2.02 million USD to $4.67 million USD) to collect signatures, about 65 million rubles ($1.15 million USD) to rent offices for headquarters, and more than 700 million rubles for the billboards.

As the newspaper reports, his main “donors” have been so-called "cooperation" funds of in many regions. Because the funds don’t publicly report on their earnings, it is impossible to verify who the real sponsor of the president reelection campaign is.

The publication also discovered that Putin chooses offshore companies for his campaign. Thus, OOO "POSMOTEKA" where promotional materials for Putin’s campaign are printed was established by Waytexo Holdings Limited in Cyprus. The founders of Russ Outdoor are Mercury Outdoor Displays Limited and Media Support Services Limited from the Virgin Islands.

The agency adds that, according to the law, a presidential candidate may spend no more than 400 million rubles; otherwise he can be disqualified as a candidate.

In early January, Putin’s electoral fund reached limit of 400 million rubles ($7.07 million USD). Nearly all the money was contributed by the United Russia party and support funds for regional cooperation and development, as well as the national projects fund and the Support Fund for Future Generations. The amount of donations ranged from 2 to 28 million rubles ($40,000 to $500,000 USD).

The next Russian presidential election will be held on March 18, 2018.

  Putin, election campaign, elections in Russa