Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Prominent Russian Economist Flees Country

A top Russian economist and government adviser has abruptly stepped down from his posts and left the country amid pressure on him from investigators,WSJ is reporting.
Sergei Guriev was among the most prominent of a series of Russians to leave the country over the past year since Vladimir Putin returned to the presidency and his government embarked on a new crackdown on critics.

Mr. Guriev departed as investigators probed his role in a case linked to the controversial prosecution of oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the people said[...] 
On Tuesday, OAO Sberbank, the state-controlled banking giant, said Mr. Guriev had pulled his name from the slate for re-election to its board of directors. Reached in France, where his wife and children have lived for several years, Mr. Guriev cited "personal circumstances" for his departure from the bank[...]
People close to the situation said Mr. Guriev hasn't been charged in the current probe, but has been sworn by investigators to secrecy on the case. Mr. Guriev declined to comment on any investigation. Russia's Investigative Committee, which is conducting the probe, couldn't be reached to comment late Tuesday. Two government officials confirmed that Mr. Guriev is facing pressure from investigators.

"A lot of people hope that Sergei is overreacting," said one person familiar with the case, noting that he could return to Russia if the investigations are dropped.

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