Davos Lifts Ban on Russian Businessmen

A delegation of Russian businessmen will attend the 2019 Davos forum in January, after the organizers of the elite event lifted a ban on some Russian oligarchs they said they were imposing in November, RIA Novosti reports citing a government official.

“The restrictions have been lifted. The level of the delegation and its composition will be determined later,” said the news agency’s source in the cabinet. The World Economic Forum 2019 will be held from January 22 to 25.

Last month, it was reported that Oleg Deripaska, Viktor Vekselberg and Andrey Kostin, all high-profile Kremlin insiders sanctioned by the U.S., had been told to stay away from the event, due to take place in January.

In response, Russia threatened to boycott the forum completely. “No one will go there,” Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was cited as saying after the report.

Davos forum organizers have now changed their minds, RIA cited its government source as saying.

“Since the Davos forum organisers have changed their decision and lifted the restrictions they imposed earlier on Russian businessmen, an official government delegation will travel to Davos and take part in the forum,” RIA cited the source as saying.

The United States Treasury Department imposed sanctions on billionaire Oleg Deripaska in April along with companies in which he is a large shareholder, including Rusal, the world’s top aluminium producer outside China.

Vekselberg and his Renova Group, and Kostin, head of Russian state bank VTB, were also targeted by U.S. sanctions at the time.