Kudrin: Massive Cash Outflows from Russia Followed U.S. Investor’s Arrest

Foreign investors withdrew tens of billions of dollars in cash outflows from Russia after the arrest of veteran American investment fund manager Michael Calvey earlier this year, former Russian finance minister and current head of the country’s Accounts Chamber Aleksei Kudrin has said, according to RFE/RL.

“Undoubtedly, [Calvey’s arrest] is a shock. Since the beginning of this year the cash outflow from Russia doubled and reached $40 billion,” Kudrin said, speaking at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on Thursday.

The official called the arrest of Michael Calvey “a shock” for Russia’s economy, adding that the volume of cash outflow from the country doubled because of his arrest in February.

Kudrin, a highly respected economist who helped stabilize Russia’s finances and attract investors as finance minister during Putin’s first two terms, is seen as more liberal than many of the former KGB and security-services officers in circles close to the president. Although he often makes statements critical of the government, Kudrin is believed to be on close terms with Putin.

The arrest of Calvey, who founded the Moscow-based private equity group Baring Vostok Capital Partners in 1994, stunned many Western investors and drew complaints from high-level Russian business leaders and government officials, who questioned the motivations of the courts and prosecutors.

It also came at a time as the country’s business climate already faced stiff headwinds for many reasons, including the economic sanctions imposed by the United States, Japan, and European allies for Moscow’s 2014 seizure of Crimea and alleged Russian interference in U.S. elections.

In April, a Moscow court ordered Calvey to be released from pretrial detention and moved to house arrest.