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Top Russian Tycoons Asked To Stay Away From Davos: Report

The CEO of Russia's VTB bank Andrei Kostin (file photo)
The CEO of Russia's VTB bank Andrei Kostin (file photo)

Several Russian tycoons blacklisted by the United States have been asked not to attend the World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Switzerland in January, a Russian state bank reported.

Andrei Kostin, the chief of VTB bank and an ally of President Vladimir Putin, "had a discussion" with WEF founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab, "and he is aware of this decision," VTB said in a statement on November 6.

The forum's annual meeting in Davos is attended by international political and business leaders.

"Mr. Kostin will lay out his position on this issue in the form of an open letter to forum participants in the future," the statement said, without giving details.

The statement came after Britain's Financial Times newspaper reported that Kostin as well as billionaires Oleg Deripaska and Viktor Vekselberg had essentially been barred from attending the Davos gathering.

The decision was made under pressure from Washington, the newspaper said, citing unnamed sources familiar with the issue.

Spokespersons for Deripaska and Vekselberg did not issue an immediate comment.

The tycoons were subjected to U.S. sanctions earlier this year as Washington seeks to punish Russia for what it calls "malign activities," including alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

The three are believed to be close to Putin and attended the forum in the past.

Based on reporting by AFP and TASS