ST. PETERSBURG, June 6. /TASS/. US diplomats attempted to dissuade foreign entrepreneurs from attending the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), citing the case of founder of the Baring Vostok Michael Calvey, who was accused of embezzlement, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Pankin told TASS on the sidelines of SPIEF.
"Of course, let’s not deny that the Calvey case had an effect, because it is obvious that our American colleagues have blown this out of proportion and used it to politicize SPIEF and paint it in an unfavorable light," the diplomat stressed. "It is a fact that US diplomats in various countries, including the US ambassador in Moscow, had been dissuading [entrepreneurs] from participating under this pretense."
Michael Calvey, founder of private-equity firm Baring Vostok, was detained and later arrested on suspicion of embezzling 2.5 bln rubles ($37.5 mln) from Vostochny Bank. Moscow’s Basmanny Court also arrested five other suspects in the case. Calvey was sent to a pre-trial detention center, but later he was placed under house arrest.
The 2019 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum is being held on June 6-8. The forum’s motto this year is "Creating a Sustainable Development Agenda". The organizer for SPIEF-2019 is the Roscongress Foundation. TASS is a media partner, the official photo hosting agency and the operator of SPIEF’s presentation zones with support from multinational firm EY, and the Foreign Investment Advisory Council in Russia.