Mr. Agalarov, 61, also worked on a project with a future president, Donald J. Trump. Last week, the Russian developer and his crooner son and heir, Emin, were thrust into the swirl of speculation about whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Kremlin to influence the 2016 election.
Their names popped up in emails about arranging a meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer who claimed to have incriminating information about Hillary Clinton, but the president and his son have both insisted that nothing of value was provided.
âThis is obviously very high-level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its governmentâs support for Mr. Trump â helped along by Aras and Emin,â wrote Rob Goldstone, a music producer and publicist working for Emin.
The American attorney for the Agalarovs, Scott S. Balber, contradicted Mr. Goldstoneâs version, asserting in an interview that the senior Mr. Agalarovâs role was merely a matter of an introduction. âPeople in the business world do favors for each other all the time. As a courtesy to a lawyer they had a relationship with, they made an introduction,â Mr. Balber said. âWe were not in possession of damaging info. We had no reason to believe this was in relation to the Russian government.â
While there is no indication beyond what was said in the emails that the Agalarovs were serving as a conduit between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign, wealthy and well-connected businessmen are often called on to do the bidding of the Russian government.
Kremlin analysts stress that its red, crenelated walls conceal not a well-oiled machine but a hornetâs nest of interests and influences competing to dominate an Erector Set of ad hoc policies and sudden opportunities, many of them highly lucrative.
When it comes to exploiting those opportunities, the Kremlin often ignores its own bureaucrats, diplomats and other agents in favor…