Russian tycoon Vladimir Potanin intends to contribute his entire fortune to charity when he dies, following in the footsteps of U.S. multibillionaire Bill Gates, a business daily reported on Tuesday.
Vedomosti referred to an interview, which Potanin, 49, gave to The Financial Times on Monday, describing his plans for philanthropic activity.
"There won't be an inheritance of my fortune. My capital should work for the good of society and continue working for these social aims," Potanin said.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin have repeatedly spoken about the social responsibility of big business in Russia where millions of people are still struggling with living standards after the collapse of the Soviet Union, urging businessmen to spend money on charitable projects.
"My children are growing up, their father is a billionaire and a well-known guy. They, for one, are in my shadow, and secondly what motivation in life do they have to achieve something?" he said.
"In this sense, I consider it a very correct step to hand over one's fortune for the service of society and not for inheritance. I am going to follow the example of [Bill] Gates and [Warren] Buffet."
Potanin, who made his fortune during the loans-for-shares auctions in the mid-1990s when Russia's cash-strapped government sold the country's biggest industrial assets for a song, was one of the first Russian oligarchs to engage in charity in the 2000s with annual $1mln donations to the Guggenheim Foundation.
Potanin, whose fortune plummeted after the 2008 global financial and economic crisis but is still estimated at $2.1 billion, also said he intended to increase annual donations to his own charitable fund from $10 mln to $25 mln.
The Potanin fund is the largest sponsor of the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg and also allocates millions of U.S. dollars for grants and scholarships for students.
MOSCOW, February 2 (RIA Novosti)