Thu, 20 Feb 2020

Moscow has welcomed a decision by the organizers of the World Economic Forum (WEF) to allow the participation of Russian businessmen at the event, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters in Moscow on December 17.

'We welcome the fact that the economic forum in Davos and its chiefs have accepted our position regarding the fact that a certain selective attitude to our businessmen is unacceptable,' Peskov said.

Peskov's statement came a day after the WEF said Russian billionaires Oleg Deripaska and Viktor Vekselberg, and the head of the state-controlled bank VTB Andrei Kostin, would be able to attend the annual gathering of business and political leaders in the Swiss ski resort of Davos in January.

In November, Britain's Financial Times newspaper reported that the trio had been barred from attending the Davos gathering.

The decision was made under pressure from Washington, the newspaper said, citing unnamed sources familiar with the issue.

The three tycoons were subjected to U.S. sanctions earlier this year as Washington seeks to punish Russia for what it calls 'malign activities,' including alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Following the newspaper's report in November, Russia threatened to boycott the meeting in Davos.

The three Russian businessmen are believed to be close to the Russian President Vladimir Putin and have attended the forum in the past.

Based on reporting by AFP, AP, TASS, and Interfax

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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