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Kremlin silent on Finnish investor entry ban

April 01, 2015, 15:14 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Media reports said Finnish citizen Remes, a key figure in Russia’s electric power sector reform and an investor in the electricity sector, had been banned from entering Russia for five years

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Dmitry Peskov

Dmitry Peskov

© Yuri Mashkov/TASS

MOSCOW, April 1. /TASS/. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov could not comment on Wednesday on a ban imposed on Finnish investor Seppo Remes for entering Russia.

When asked by journalists whether this instance could affect the investment climate in Russia, the Kremlin spokesman said: "I don’t even know who he is and therefore I can’t answer your question."

Media reports said earlier on Wednesday the Federal Security Service of Russia (FSB) had banned Finnish citizen Remes, a key figure in Russia’s electric power sector reform and an investor in the electricity sector, to enter the country for a period of five years, even though his working visa was valid until November this year.

Remes, the owner of Kiuru consulting firm, was considered a key member of the team of Anatoly Chubais, the architect of the voucher privatization in Russia in the early 1990s and the reformer of RAO UES electric power monopoly.

Remes also co-owns the Swedish investment fund EOS, which holds minority stakes in regional power utilities and grid companies integrated into Russia’s Federal Grid Company Rosseti, and also in the Far Eastern energy company RAO Energy System of East controlled by RusHydro hydropower group and is its head.

Remes is also an independent director in the board of Rosseti, Sibur petrochemical firm, Rusnano hi-tech government corporation and Sollers auto maker.

According to Russian business dailies Vedomosti and Kommersant, in early March when Remes was leaving Russia, he was given a notice "on the inadmissibility of actions creating conditions for committing crimes."

Russia’s Federal Security Service said it had no information that Remes was collecting and transferring data to foreign intelligence services and therefore there were no grounds for instituting criminal proceedings against him on the charges of espionage.

The FSB has declined to reply to the papers’ inquiries.

Rosseti and Rusnano told Kommersant they knew about the Remes problem while Sibur and Sollers declined any comment.

A Rusnano spokesman said Remes continued to be a member of the company’s board of directors and head of the auditing committee.

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