17 Nov 2018 13:59

VTB head hopes decision not to invite several Russian businessmen to Davos summit to be reversed

PORT MORESBY. Nov 17 (Interfax) - VTB chief Andrei Kostin has expressed hope that the organizers of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos would change their decision not to invite a number of prominent Russian businessmen to this event.

"Firstly, I mentioned an open letter [to the organizers of the forum], I was drafting it by the opening of the Davos forum. As is known, the Davos forum will begin only in late January, this is why it is too early to talk about that, about the aspects of it now," he told reporters on the sidelines of the APEC summit in Port Moresby on Saturday.

"Secondly, as far as I can understand, the subject is not closed and after [Russian Prime Minister] Dmitry Anatolyevich [Medvedev] announced this stance [on the refusal to participate in the forum], I believe, it is still possible to settle this matter involving participation of all Russian representatives. Therefore, we should wait until the final situation," Kostin said.

Thirdly, he mentioned VTB's stance that if this issue is not settled, the entire delegation of the bank will not go to Davos.

"As for other formats, we have a format, we have the international forum in St. Petersburg, which, as you know, attracts many participants from abroad and leaders of states," Kostin said, mentioning that the French president, the Japanese prime minister, and other leaders had participated in the forum in 2018.

There are also other forums in Russia, the VTB chef said.

"As for Davos, of course, it is regrettable, because I believe that the forum, which describes itself as international and is interested in involving representatives expressing different point of views, should not take one or another side and restrict participation of some country," Kostin said.

The final decision is up to the organizers of the forum, he said.

"I still think that it is possible that the Davos forum would change its mind and take a different look at this situation, because we personally, my lawyers, our team have not find any legal grounds for their decision," he said.

It was reported earlier that Russian Prime Minister Medvedev said that Russia would not participate in the World Economic Forum in Davos unless the terms for Russian business representatives are changed.

It emerged earlier that the forum organizers had decided to effectively bar prominent Russian businessmen Oleg Deripaska, Viktor Vekselberg and Andrei Kostin from attending over the U.S. sanctions imposed against them last April.

"If these decisions that were made in relation to Russian business representatives are not changed, then we will be compelled to reject participation in the Davos forum by Russian government officials and employees of Russian companies owned in whole or in part by the state. Then no one will come," Medvedev told reporters.