Putin Attendance at Davos Forum ‘Not Ruled Out,’ Kremlin Says

The participation of Russian President Vladimir Putin in the World Economic Forum in Davos next month is not ruled out, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday, according to Reuters. Putin has not attended the forum for a decade, sending top government officials instead.

Earlier this month, Russia shrugged off reported restrictions on Russian business leaders who take part in the forum and welcomed a move by the organizers to lift a ban on several Russian oligarchs.

In November, the Financial Times reported that Kostin, as well as billionaires Oleg Deripaska and Viktor Vekselberg, had essentially been barred from attending the Davos gathering.

The decision was made under pressure from Washington, the newspaper said, citing unnamed sources familiar with the issue.

The tycoons were sanctioned by the U.S. earlier this year as Washington seeks to punish Russia for what it calls “malign activities,” including alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

The Davos Forum organizers later lifted the ban on the three businessmen, and the Kremlin welcomed the decision. A day after the WEF said it will include a Russian delegation at the forum, Peskov said the Kremlin was glad that the WEF listened to Russia’s arguments against “a selective approach to Russian business.”