Posts Tagged ‘Yevtushenkov’

September 2014

Russian oligarch’s arrest a warning from Putin, says hedge fund boss

The Guardian

The arrest of one of Russia’s richest men last week was an attempt by President Vladimir Putin to protect himself from a palace coup, according to one of his most vocal critics.

Bill Browder, the hedge fund manager who has become a crusader against Russian corruption, said the arrest of Vladimir Yevtushenkov was intended to send a message to any oligarch plotting moves against Putin, as the value of their assets drops in the wake of western sanctions.

Yevtushenkov was released on Friday, after being put under house arrest for three days on charges of money laundering.

As the richest man to fall into the hands of the Russian justice system since Mikhail Khodorkovsky was arrested in 2003, Yevtushenkov’s detention heightened speculation that the Kremlin wanted to take control of his oil company, Bashneft – one of the few Russian energy companies still in private ownership.

Speaking before Yevtushenkov’s release, Browder said the arrest was “more motivated by paranoia than any demand for a particular asset”, because “Putin and his underlings can always steal these assets in any number of ways”.

“I don’t know if Yevtushenkov did anything more or less irritating to Putin than the other oligarchs. I just think [Putin] randomly picked one out to make sure none of the other oligarchs are going to start challenging him or start planning any palace coups.

“Now that their wealth has been diminished by Putin’s actions, they have a big incentive to act against Putin and he knows that.”

Russia’s main stock market, Micex, has lost 6% of its value since the west tightened economic sanctions against Russia in July over its threat to the sovereignty of Ukraine, and the value of the rouble has fallen to all-time lows against the dollar.

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