US businessman tried in Russia says he will continue to invest in the country

Moscow, Feb 17 (EFE) .- The American investor Michael Calvey, founder of the Baring Vostok fund and who is being tried for an alleged large-scale fraud, assured today that he will continue to invest in Russia despite having been accused in a criminal case that has shaken the international business sector in this country.

“We are looking forward to continuing the important hearings and seeing the early completion of the process, so that we can go back to doing what we do best: investing in Russian companies,” Calvey told the media after another hearing in Moscow’s Meschanski court.

The trial against the American and six other people began last day 2, two years after the investor was arrested in February 2019.

Due to international pressure, he was placed under house arrest in April of that year until November 2020.

Calvey, his partner and five others are accused of appropriating more than 2.5 billion rubles (about $ 40 million at the exchange rate at the time of the alleged crime) belonging to the Russian bank Vostochni.

The US investor, who pleaded not guilty on the 2nd, has denounced that the judicial prosecution against him is due to a corporate conflict with shareholders of that bank, while Baring Vostok has maintained that ‘there is no body of crime or victims in this case ‘, as the bank received a second refund of funds and withdrew its civil complaint.

The Calvey case generated great concern among American and European business associations, and even among Russian personalities such as the head of the Court of Auditors, Alexei Kudrin, and the president of Russia himself, Vladimir Putin.

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The concern about Calvey’s situation reached such a point that the Russian president himself had to intervene and ask the country’s prosecutors to prevent the prolongation of precautionary measures such as preventive detention against businessmen in cases where it is not fully justified.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also had to reassure foreign business associations.

The Kremlin, for its part, expressed its confidence that this court case will not influence the investment climate in the country in light of the concerns expressed by several foreign businessmen and associations. EFE

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