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Sanctions to leave St. Petersburg economic forum unaffected — deputy minister

May 08, 2014, 9:24 UTC+3 MOSCOW
"We can only be grateful for this free promotional campaign," Deputy Economic Development Minister Sergei Belyakov noted
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Russia's Deputy Economic Development Minister Sergei Belyakov

Russia's Deputy Economic Development Minister Sergei Belyakov

© ITAR-TASS/Denis Vyshynskiy

MOSCOW, May 08. /ITAR-TASS/. The refusal of several US companies to attend the forthcoming St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) will leave the forum’s business program unaffected, Deputy Economic Development Minister Sergei Belyakov told the Rossiya-24 TV news channel on Wednesday.

“I believe that the statement the US president has made and other news saying heads of major (American) corporations have been warned that their presence at the St. Petersburg forum would be undesirable merely confirms the status of the event. It’s a sure sign, since the White House cares so much about somebody’s participation or non-participation,” Belyakov said. “On the other hand, this is good advertising for us. We can only be grateful for this free promotional campaign.”

“However, seriously speaking, we have no problems with the level of participants. The top figures of major European and US companies will be present. Refusals we are getting will leave the forum’s business program unaffected,” Belyakov added.

Senior delegates from Metro, Schneider Electric, Fortum, Philips and some Chinese companies, including China Investment Corporation are due to attend the SPIEF.

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