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LONDON (Reuters) - A former Russian arms tycoon who had connections at the highest levels of the Kremlin is a major donor to Britain's ruling Conservative Party and counts himself a friend of the man expected to be the country's next prime minister.
Alexander Temerko, who forged close ties with the Russian defence ministry and security services in the 1990s, has gifted over £1 million to the Conservatives over the past eight years.
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, he spoke warmly about his "friend" Boris Johnson, the leading Brexit campaigner who is frontrunner to become Britain's prime minister in a party leadership contest next week.
Temerko, who revealed himself to be a supporter of Johnson's bid to lead Britain out of the EU, described how the two men sometimes call each other "Sasha", the Russian diminutive for Alexander, which is Johnson's real first name.
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