Alfa Group co-owners Mikhail Fridman and Petr Aven, who were subject to sanctions from the European Union, Great Britain and the United States, called their multibillion-dollar investments in the West a “mistake.” Bloomberg reports this.
Commenting on the decision to leave the UK, Friedman said that he was “given no choice” and was “squeezed out”.
“The fact that we invested money in England looks like a colossal mistake,” the billionaire summed up in a conversation with an agency correspondent.
Friedman’s business partner Peter Aven, who lives in Latvia, spoke about a three-hour interrogation at London airport in July 2022. According to the billionaire, when police asked why he and other Russian oligarchs invested money in the West and located the offices of their companies in London, he replied: “By mistake!”
In addition, as Bloomberg reports, Aven “ doesn’t understand why he was punished for the war.” In his opinion, Western businessmen and politicians bear responsibility “for strengthening the current Russian regime, definitely no less than the so-called Russian oligarchs.”
In October it became known that Mikhail Fridman left the UK, explaining this by the impossibility of living under sanctions. At first the billionaire went to Israel, but after the Hamas attack he left for Moscow. In March 2022, a businessman complained to Bloomberg that his accounts were frozen and he did not know how to pay the cleaner. The British Crime Agency (NCA) was investigating Friedman for circumventing restrictions, but it has already been closed.
In August 2023, the Latvian authorities announced that Peter Aven might be deprived of the citizenship of this country. The billionaire himself said that he would not agree with such a decision and “intends to use all legal means to protect his rights.”
Friedman and Aven are unsuccessfully trying to get out of sanctions. In March, it became known that one of the leaders of the Anti-Corruption Foundation, Leonid Volkov, wrote a letter on behalf of FBK with a request to lift restrictions on billionaires. The letter was published by the former editor-in-chief of Ekho Moskvy, Alexey Venediktov, who the day before became one of the heroes of the FBK investigation. Volkov himself explained his action by saying that he wanted to contribute to a “split of the elites” in Russia.
For the oligarchs and the court. What do we know about letters from Russian public figures asking for sanctions to be lifted from bankers from Alfa Group