An interesting commentary on the state of business in Russia

Vladimir Yevtushenkov, one of Russia’s richest men, has been placed under house arrest on accusations of money laundering.

The arrest brought accusations from the fallen oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, released from prison by Vladimir Putin last year, that the move was linked to Kremlin interest in Yevtushenkov’s oil assets. Rosneft, the state-owned oil group, dismissed Khodorkovsky’s comments as “absurd”, on Wednesday morning.

Yevtushenkov, who is worth $9bn (£5.5bn) according to Forbes magazine Russia, was arrested late on Tuesday. The billionaire is the chairman and largest shareholder of Sistema, a conglomerate whose board members include the Labour peer Lord Mandelson.

Sistema controls Russia’s largest mobile phone operator, MTS, the oil company Bashneft and other lucrative assets. The accusations relate to Yevtushenkov’s acquisition of Bashneft, one of the few Russian oil producers that is not under state control.

Sistema said it considers the accusations baseless. Shares in Sistema collapsed by 28% in the first half hour of trading at Moscow’s MICEX stock exchange on Wednesday.

No, leave aside guilt or not, likely being a bad’un or not. And the real point being that the first question on everyone’s lips was, “What the fuck has he done to piss off Putin?”

Which tells you rather a lot about Russia Today really…..

9 comments on “An interesting commentary on the state of business in Russia

  1. Probably queried what the fuck sort of country Russia was headed towards under the last few years of Putin’s rule, and the inevitable effect it will have on business. Back in Khodorkovsky’s day actively opposing Putin would get you chucked in jail; nowadays, merely questioning him is likely to get you the same result. I don’t know anything about the man himself, but I do know that MTS (along with Beeline) is one of the few examples of a Russian company being run (at least from the customer’s point of view) akin to something you’d see in the west. Mainly because there were no fuckwitted Soviet laws related to mobile phones networks to comply with.

  2. You can have all the money you want but if you don’t own the men with guns, in a country where men with guns decide stuff, you are nothing.

  3. Could never happen in the West – in the UK he’d face a paedophilia probe (as it were); and in the US he’d be hit with audits by the IRS, EPA, and assorted other acronyms.

  4. It doesn’t matter what he has done – he will recognise the warning if he is wise and will know what is required of him.

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