A ghost at the banquet

The Moscow News

The general mood at VTB Capital’s “Russia Calling” forum in London was one of cautious optimism about changes under way in reforming the economy, but there was one harsh reminder of the huge mountain to climb in improving the business climate.

Former Yevroset boss Yevgeny Chichvarkin, like Banquo’s ghost at the feast in “Macbeth”, turned up outside the forum to protest that Russia is still not calling him back, despite criminal charges being dropped against him by prosecutors.

Most investors inside the forum were at pains to stress that cases such as that of Chichvarkin and Sergei Magnitsky, the hedge fund lawyer whose died in jail after his company was embroiled in a bitter dispute with law enforcement officers , are still relatively isolated, and that most foreign investors in Russia make a lot of money out of the country.

But that seems very much like the optimism of an actor promoting a film that he’s not quite proud of, either because the script or the direction sucks, but he’s still got to plug it for the box office. It’s worth noting, of course, that Magnitsky’s boss, Hermitage Capital CEO Bill Browder, was one of Russia’s biggest cheerleaders until his exclusion from the country in 2005. Up until that point, however, he was happy to promote the Russia case despite the problems of massive corruption.

The cases of businesspeople falling foul of corrupt officials pale by comparison when put next to what happens to ordinary people in Russia, but they are still a clear sign that – to cite another Shakespearean tragedy – “something is rotten in Denmark”.

The tragedy is that far too often people who want to see progressive reform in Russia avoid talking about the Chichvarkins or Magnitskys, just as actors believe it’s bad luck to mention “the Scottish play” by name.

So the biggest favour investors can do Russia, if they want to see meaningful reforms and ensure that they themselves do not end up falling victim to corruption, is not to stay silent, but to speak out on cases like Chichvarkin’s and Magnitsky’s. The more people who do speak out, the better the chances of avoiding more Banquos appearing at the feast. займ на карту без отказов круглосуточно онлайн займ www.zp-pdl.com https://zp-pdl.com/online-payday-loans-in-america.php займ на карту без отказов круглосуточно

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