American businessman Michael Calvey, who attracted investments in the Russian economy, was charged with fraud
The arrest in Moscow of an American citizen, the founder of the investment fund Baring Vostok, Michael Kalvey, caused a wide resonance both in Russia and abroad..
We will remind, Michael Calvey and employees of his fund were detained on February 15, in the midst of the Sochi Investment Forum. Later, the Basmanny Court passed a preventive measure against all detainees: two months of arrest. Despite the fact that Kalvi declared his innocence and readiness to cooperate with the investigation, as well as that he was not going to hide anywhere.
All those arrested are suspected of having allegedly stolen 2.5 billion rubles in a fraudulent way. at the bank «Oriental». In this regard, a member of the bank’s board of directors Sherzod Yusupov appealed to the FSB.
Representatives of Baring Vostok, on the contrary, file a claim against «East», which is pending in a London court.
According to The Bell, before that there was a conflict between Baring Vostok and the co-owner of the bank. «Oriental» Artem Avetisyan, who is friendly with the family of the former head of the FSB Nikolai Patrushev.
The Kremlin knows about the arrest of Michael Calvey. According to the press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Peskov, Putin has met with an American businessman more than once. Peskov also expressed the hope that this case «no way» will not negatively affect the investment climate of the country.
Few agree with this approach. In particular, the Wall Street Journal article indicates that the arrest of Calvey «threatens to scare off potential foreign investors and could exacerbate already tense U.S.-Russia relations». The newspaper also recalled that the incident with the American businessman occurred shortly after the arrest of US citizen Paul Whelan on espionage charges..
Professor at the Higher School of Economics Alexey Portansky in the commentary for the Russian service «Voices of America» noted that the arrest of Michael Calvey caused bewilderment among so many famous people «even in government» and, of course, in business. The professor admitted that he shares a common concern about the incident..
«At first glance, this, of course, does not at all contribute to the improvement and strengthening of the investment climate in the country, as we have been talking about in recent years., – he stated. – Moreover, it is difficult to get rid of the thought that it somehow coincided with the Sochi event.».
Michael Calvey was supported by the head of Sberbank of Russia German Gref, business ombudsman Boris Titov, head of the Russian Council of Direct Investment Funds Anatoly Chubais and other representatives of Russian business.
According to Alexei Portansky, if, in addition to everything in this story, there are also some subjective reasons in the sense that someone has leverage to settle accounts in business through «relevant security forces», then this is really bad.
«Calvey has a very good reputation, – he added. – He has been in Russia since the 90s and has invested several billion dollars here. It seems to me that arresting a businessman under the circumstances is highly unreasonable. At most he could be placed under house arrest, but nothing more. Therefore, I do not approve of this step..
Of course, this is a bad signal for Western investors, the economist is sure.
«We are not at all brilliant with investors anyway. In recent times, on the contrary, more funds are being withdrawn from the country.», – he summed up.
In addition, the economist believes that relations between Russia and the United States are unlikely to become worse than they are now, since they are already extremely bad..
In turn, the program director «Economic policy» Carnegie Moscow Center Andrey Movchan noted in this case a jumble of different interests. However, he was not at all surprised by this turn of events..
«From the Kremlin’s point of view, Calvey – nobody and nothing, potential Browder, that’s all, – he asserts in the comment «Voice of America». – His $ 3 billion investment against the backdrop of $ 500 billion in (government) reserves is of little interest to anyone. His desire to grow an independent business in the country is harmful, and the potential desire to pump rights for minority shareholders is dangerous. Who will seriously defend him here??»
According to the expert, those who try «squeeze out» Calvey’s assets are doing as they always do in Russia: «The way the highest authorities do it when they need it, starting at least since 2003, and even earlier. The way everyone who can afford it does it. So there is nothing surprising in what happened».
Russia: Supreme Court lifts house arrest of US investor Michael Calvey
As Andrei Movchan sees it, the situation with Calvi in Russia is outraged «one and a half systemic liberals and three independent businessmen», which «also nobody cares».
«The task of attracting foreign investment as such is naturally absent in the country. In Russia, investment projects are interesting only if they can be «saw through». Therefore, the topic of investment is not on the agenda. There are completely different things on the agenda, if you look closely: for example, to clear the country of foreigners», – concluded the expert.
Calvey faces up to 10 years in prison in light of the charges.