Russian Billionaires call for peace after meeting with Putin

Russian Billionaires call for peace after meeting with Putin Source: Wikimedia

Russian President Vladimir Putin is reported to have met with a large number of Russian Billionaires and major businesses men last week according to Reuters, with two of those attended making a call for peace afterwards.

According to Reuters news agency, more than 36 attended the meeting at the Kremlin but few were willing to speak afterwards.

A billionaire who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the war was going to be a catastrophe saying: “Businessmen understand very well the consequences.

“It is going to be catastrophic in all senses: for the economy, for relations with the rest of the world, for the political situation.”

Amongst the silence two billionaires Mikhail Fridman and Oleg Deripaska have broken ranks and have called for an end to the conflict triggered by President Vladimir Putin’s assault on Ukraine.

The Ukrainian born Fridman called it a tragedy for both countries’ people. Writing to his staff he said that the conflict was driving a wedge between the two eastern Slav peoples of Russia and Ukraine who have been brothers for centuries.

“I was born in Western Ukraine and lived there until I was 17. My parents are Ukrainian citizens and live in Lviv, my favourite city.

“But I have also spent much of my life as a citizen of Russia, building and growing businesses. I am deeply attached to the Ukrainian and Russian peoples and see the current conflict as a tragedy for them both.

“This crisis will cost lives and damage two nations who have been brothers for hundreds of years.

“While a solution seems frighteningly far off, I can only join those whose fervent desire is for the bloodshed to end. I’m sure my partners share my view.”

Russian billionaire and founder of Russian aluminium giant Rusal, Oleg Deripaska, used a post on Telegram to call for peace talks to begin “as fast as possible”.

He said: “Peace is very important,” having been quoted on February 21, saying there would not be a war.

Deripaska is one of those influential Russians who Washington imposed sanctions on after accusations of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, which Moscow denies.

As Russian billionaires begin the call for peace, the Ukrainian president’s office has confirmed that peace negotiations between Kyiv and Moscow would be held at the Belarusian-Ukrainian border.

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Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]