News / Europe

Kremlin Tells Media to Play Down Investment Forum Boycott

(L-R) Russia's Minister of Economic Development Alexei Ulyukayev , British Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Lord Peter Mandelson, Boston Consulting Group chairman Hans-Paul Buerkner, Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs
(L-R) Russia's Minister of Economic Development Alexei Ulyukayev , British Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Lord Peter Mandelson, Boston Consulting Group chairman Hans-Paul Buerkner, Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs
Reuters
Global business leaders are thin on the ground at Russia's main  investment conference in the face of government pressure to stay away because of the Ukraine crisis, but the Kremlin has advised Russian media not to make a big deal of it.
 
In a confidential e-mail seen by Reuters, the Kremlin advised loyal and state-run organizations to focus instead on the growing participation of Asian investors and the quality of discussions at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum.
 
“The quality and number of companies participating has not decreased,” the Kremlin message said, after big names were conspicuous in their absence following the imposition of U.S. and European Union sanctions on Moscow over Ukraine.
 
“The quality of discussions this year will probably be even higher because some companies will be represented not by their chiefs, who often play just ceremonial roles, but by top executives, who do all the practical work and take real decisions,” the message said.
 
The remark may not go down well with chief executives who  showed up on Thursday, the first day of the forum, despite suggestions by Washington that it is “inappropriate” to attend following Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.
 
“We are grateful to the U.S. authorities for the active promotion of the forum,” the Kremlin wrote. “Those investors who for some reasons decided not to participate in the forum are effective punishing themselves... Nature abhors a vacuum.”
 
It said that 29 executives had declined to participate in the forum. Twenty had cited external pressure and 13 of them were from the United States.
 
Firms that have not sent their chief executives include Exxon Mobil, Citi, PepsiCo and Goldman Sachs, although other senior representatives of those companies were attending.
 
President Vladimir Putin will attend the forum on Friday, two days after signing a deal with China to supply Moscow's Asian neighbor with natural gas, a shift in Russian energy flows away from Western markets.
 
“The Western world is no longer an absolute leader that can dictate its rules to everyone else. The epicenter of the global economic activity is increasingly shifting towards Asia-Pacific,” the Kremlin email said.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid