Vekselberg is close to the Moscow Kremlin, overseeing projects to modernize the Russian economy. In April 2018, the United States imposed sanctions on him and 23 other Russian nationals. On May 9, 2018, CNN reported that investigators from the Special Counsel investigation have questioned Vekselberg about hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments his company's US affiliate made to US President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.
Victor Vekselberg was born in 1957 to a Ukrainian-Jewish father and a Russian mother in Drohobych, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (although some reports state that he was born in Lviv). In 1979, he graduated from the Moscow Transportation Engineering Institute. Thereafter, he worked as an engineer and research manager at a state-owned pump manufacturer.
In 1988, after the Gorbachev administration relaxed restrictions on private business as part of his new policy Perestroika and Glasnost, he founded NPO Komvek which did work for the Irkutsk Aluminum Plant and in 1990, he co-founded Renova Group with college classmate, Leonard Blavatnik. KomVek owned 67% of Renova and Blavatnik’s company Access Industries owned the remainder. He benefited financially from the privatization of the aluminum industry in Russia under the Yeltsin administration in 1993. In 1996, he co-founded the Siberian-Urals Aluminium Company (SUAL) via a merger of the Ural and Irkutsk Aluminum Plants. (SUAL would later be incorporated into United Company RUSAL, the largest aluminum company in the world). Using revenues generated from his aluminum business, he purchased a minority interest in Tyumen Oil (TNK), one of Russia's largest oil and gas companies. In 1997, he secured a controlling interest in Tyumen and was appointed to the Board of Directors; in 1998, he was appointed Chairman of the Board. Later, he integrated those and other assets under the umbrella of Renova Group, delegating operating responsibilities to managers.
In 2003, the Renova Group, along with Access Industries (owned by Leonard Blavatnik) and the Alfa Group (owned by Mikhail Fridman, German Khan, and Alexei Kuzmichov) announced the creation of a strategic partnership to jointly hold their oil assets in Russia and Ukraine, forming the AAR consortium. In the same year, they merged AAR with British Petroleum's Russian oil assets in a 50-50 joint venture named TNK-BP, the largest private transaction in Russian history. Acting as a chairman of the executive board of TNK, Vekselberg was instrumental in negotiating and closing the transaction.
Vekselberg is now overseeing a vast restructuring of his assets: the division of property with the partner Leonard Blavatnik, the merger of Renova's aluminum assets with those of Oleg Deripaska, and the integration of various electricity and telecommunications investment.