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Kremlin 'Very Closely Following' Detention Of U.S. Investor


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

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