Russian pundits question Medvedev’s, deputy PM’s investor reassurances at Davos

Ekho Moskvy

Independent radio Ekho Moskvy has asked prominent experts to comment on a speech given by First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov at the World Economic Forum in Davos on 27 January. Shuvalov was in particular quizzed about the fate of the Hermitage Capital fund. Shuvalov told William Browder, head of the fund, that attention should be focused on the positive trends in Russia, and that 20 people had been dismissed following the death in custody of Hermitage Capital lawyer Sergey Magnitskiy.

First deputy chairman of the Alfa Bank board of directors Oleg Sysuyev said: “For some reason we think that foreign investors are stupid. But the fact is they are just being polite and diplomatic. If they do not address any rude harsh words to us, I consider this to be part of their good upbringing. In general, they understand everything very well indeed, including what is happening in our economy, the investment climate, the influence of the administrative resource factor and investors’ lawsuits.”

The expert then said: “I think that it should be us who should review our attitude to the investment climate and be transparent and sincere rather than keep issuing sulking statements over and over again. We should simply take a good look at ourselves and be the strictest and the most constructive critics with regard to what is happening inside the country.”

Senior macroeconomics researcher Sergey Aleksashenko, of the High School of Economics, was also critical of Shuvalov. “Igor Shuvalov and our president started issuing their commentaries in Davos, fast, one after the other. The president is saying you should not be putting pressure on me with regard to the [former Yukos oil company boss Mikhail] Khodorkovskiy case. We have independent courts and the court should be making its own decisions. Shuvalov is saying there is no need to pay attention to the Magnitskiy case because all this is a thing of the past.”

Aleksashenko went on to recall several cases in which Russian opposition leaders had apparently been mistreated by the police. “I think that foreign investors are not as stupid as Shuvalov and Medvedev think they are. They are listening to all this attentively and making their own conclusions,” the expert said.

According to Ekho Moskvy radio’s own prominent commentator Anton Orekh, “our country and our justice system have over a long period painstakingly earned themselves a reputation which rules out any trust in us whatsoever”. Orekh then said: “This is because there have been many cases in which the government used judges or some other people to make sure that shameful, improper, thief-like rulings were adopted. This is why there is no trust in it. This is why Shuvalov is not in a position to ask for that kind of trust. We will have to earn it.”

Orekh also dismissed statements that the Russian president “personally tried to sort out the case [of Magnitskiy] and to establish the truth” as “absurd”. The Ekho Moskvy commentator refused to believe such reassurances. “Well done for having had a go but why has not he sorted things out?” Orekh asked. займ на карту payday loan https://zp-pdl.com/best-payday-loans.php https://zp-pdl.com/online-payday-loans-cash-advances.php займ на карту

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