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U.S. investment-fund manager Michael Calvey was remanded in Russian custody on February 16.

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov says the Kremlin is following the situation involving the detention of a prominent American investment-fund manager who is accused of large-scale fraud in Russia.

Talking to reporters in Moscow on February 18, Peskov said the arrest of Michael Calvey, the head of the of Baring Vostok investment company, has nothing to do with a deterioration in Russian-U.S relations.

"The state of Russia's ties with other countries has no impact whatsoever on the business activities of foreign investors here," Peskov said, adding that Russia has always been interested in creating "comfortable conditions for foreign investments."

Peskov also said that Calvey has been known in Russia as "a firm and serious investor in our economy," who "has always supported the idea of the Russian market's attractiveness."

Peskov also said that Russian President Vladimir Putin had met Calvey many times at business forums and other gatherings in Russia in the past but that Calvey's detention was beyond Putin's competence.

On February 16, a court in Moscow remanded Calvey in custody until April 13 pending trial.

Calvey was detained in Moscow on February 14 along with three other Baring Vostok employees, former Vostochny Bank director Aleksei Kordichev, and Maksim Vladimirov, the head of the PKB debt-collection agency. All six defendants have now been remanded in custody.

Calvey denies any wrongdoing.

Russia's Presidential Commissioner for Entrepreneurs’ Rights Boris Titov expressed concerns over Calvey's pretrial arrest.

"The case of Baring Vostok stems purely from a corporative differences and therefore the court's decision to choose incarceration as a way of pretrial restriction for Calvey is obviously illegal," Titov said, adding that in such cases a pretrial restitution may be house arrest, bail, or order not to leave the city.

Titov also said that he had received an appeal from Baring Vostok and is "starting to get acquainted with the case in details."

Founded in 1994, Baring Vostok is one of the largest private-equity firms in Russia and the former Soviet Union, according to the firm's website. It manages more than $3.7 billion in assets. It is particularly active in the technology sector and owns a stake in the Yandex search engine.

Before founding Baring Vostok, Calvey worked for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development as well as for Salomon Brothers.

He is a member of the board of directors of the Atlantic Council think tank in Washington, D.C.

Based on reporting by Reuters, TASS, and Interfax
Hundreds of thousands of Crimean Tatars were deported from their native Crimea in May 1944, after Soviet dictator Josef Stalin accused them of collaborating with Nazi Germany. (file photo)

A new Crimean history textbook will be withdrawn after harsh criticism by human rights activists and Crimean Tatars, who said the book incites ethnic hatred by giving false information on an alleged collaboration between the indigenous, mostly Muslim, Turkic-speaking ethnic group and the Nazis as well as on their deportation to Central Asia in 1944.

Ruslan Balbek, a member of the Russian parliament’s lower chamber, the State Duma, told the RIA Novosti news agency on February 18 that the copies of the 10th-grade history textbook will be withdrawn from libraries and bookshops across the Russia-annexed Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula.

Balbek said earlier that the textbook contained erroneous allegations of mass collaboration between the Crimean Tatars and the Nazi occupiers during World War II.

The Kremlin-controlled Council of the Crimean Tatars had condemned the textbook earlier, saying it tries to justify the ethnic group's mass deportation by the Soviets.

The textbook was scheduled to be added to the curriculum in Crimea as of September.

The Crimean Human Rights Group condemned the publication, saying it incited ethnic hatred towards Crimean Tatars.

Iryna Sedova, a historian with the group, said the textbook "must be immediately withdrawn from schools in Crimea for promoting hate speech."

Valentyna Potapova, the head of the Almenda Civil Education Center in Crimea, issued a statement calling for the immediate withdrawal of the textbook from schools because "it will sow discord among Crimea's residents."

The self-governing body of the Crimean Tatars, which was branded as extremist and banned in Russia in 2016, also condemned the textbook, saying its content carries elements of extremism.

The textbook says that when Crimean Tatars were deported to Central Asia they were provided with decent food, housing, financial support, and land to construct homes, which human rights activists and historians say it is not true.

The Crimean Tatars were deported en masse from their native Crimea in May 1944, after Soviet dictator Josef Stalin accused them of collaborating with Nazi Germany.

Starting on May 18, 1944, some 250,000 people were put on trains and sent to Central Asia. Tens of thousands died during the journey or after they were left on the barren steppe with few resources.

Crimean Tatars were not allowed to return to Crimea until the late 1980s, when Mikhail Gorbachev implemented reforms in the years before the disintegration of the Soviet Union.

In November 2015, the Ukrainian parliament passed a law declaring May 18 the Day of Commemoration of Victims of the Genocide of the Crimean Tatars.

After Russia seized Crimea, Russian President Vladimir Putin promised the Crimean Tatars that they would be treated well and guaranteed equal rights.

But Crimean Tatars, rights activists, and Western governments say Russia has subjected Crimean Tatars and others who opposed the annexation to abuse, discrimination, and politically motivated prosecution on false charges.

With reporting by the Crimean Desk of RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service, RIA Novosti and Kommersant

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