MOSCOW, March 15. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin does not believe it is right to link the case of Michael Calvey, the founder and senior partner of the private equity firm Baring Vostok Capital Partners, arrested in Russia on embezzlement charges, to Russia’s investment climate, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
When asked about the president’s position on the matter, Peskov said that Putin believed the case should not be linked to Russia’s investment climate and should have no negative affect on it. "Russia has been and will remain interested in attracting international investors and intends to do everything possible to create conditions for their activities," Peskov added.
According to the Kremlin spokesman, "the president cannot comment on the Calvey case because an investigation is underway, this is not the president’s prerogative." Peskov also pointed out that Calvey could not be considered guilty until a court ruling was made.
On February 16, Moscow’s Basmanny District Court arrested Calvey for two months in a 2.5 bln ruble ($38.2 mln) embezzlement case. According to the investigation, Calvey and his accomplices put together a scheme, where the First Collection Bureau, under their control, waived its right to a 59.9% stake in a Luxembourg-based company called the International Financial Technology Group to the Vostochny bank in order to pay it back for a 2.5 bln-ruble debt. However, law enforcement agencies say the stake was actually worth 600,000 rubles ($9,100).
Baring Vostok is one of the oldest investment funds operating in Russia that also makes investments in other Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries. Since 1994, the fund has invested over $2.4 bln in projects concerning financial services, oil and gas industry, telecommunications, the media and the consumer sector.