Kamil Ekim Alptekin, a Turkish businessman whose dealings with Michael Flynn are part of a probe into the former U.S. national security adviser's alleged foreign ties, was also retained by the Israeli energy company Ratio Oil Exploration, BuzzFeed reported on Monday.
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The news site said it had seen documents, emails and photographs that showed Alptekin's Dutch company Inovo BV - the same one implicated in the Flynn probe - signed a contract with Ratio in April 2016 to represent it in Turkey and that Alptekin was a guest of Ratio's at a Tel Aviv energy conference two days last November. They also purportedly show that the contract was broken off the following February and gave no indication Ratio knew of his connection with Flynn's consulting firm.
Ratio executives didn't respond to BuzzFeed queries but a spokeswoman for the company told TheMarker, the Haaretz business daily, that "the company never retained Mr. Ekim Alpetkin's services." A source close to the Israel's Leviathan offshore natural gas exploration partnership, in which Ratio has a 15% stake, said Alptekin had approached the group about representing it in Turkey, but was turned down.
The Leviathan natural gas field is Israel's biggest with 620 billion cubic meters of reserves. The partners, who in February agreed to invest $3.7 billion into putting the field into production, are looking for overseas markets for the gas, and Turkey is a leading candidate.