Sunday, December 16, 2018

Progress From Davos: World Economic Forum Lifts Ban on Russian Trio

Davos, Switzerland
The World Economic Forum in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland has lifted its ban on three sanctioned Russian businessmen after Moscow threatened to boycott the event in protest, state-run Russian newswires report, according to The Financial Times.

Russia will send a full delegation to the January event in the Swiss ski resort after its organizers rescinded their decision to bar aluminum tycoon Oleg Deripaska, industrialist Viktor Vekselberg and Andrei Kostin, head of one of Russia’s biggest banks, from the forum. All three are subject to U.S. sanctions.

“Because the organizers of the Davos forum have changed their minds and lifted the restrictions imposed on the Russian businessmen earlier, an official governmental delegation will travel to Davos and participate in the forum,” two Russian state-run newswires quoted a Russian government source as saying.

While the sanctions do not ban them from entering Switzerland, officials told the FT that the forum had bowed to demands from Washington.

There are probably a lot of high-level crony deals cut in Davos. It is an event that should be viewed suspiciously by free-market advocates but ignoring sanctions is always better than supporting them.

The U.S. has not yet officially responded.

 The 2019 annual meeting is scheduled for January 22-25.


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