Russia Will Boycott Davos Forum if Tycoons Kept Away: Medvedev

The Russian Prime Minister says it will consider boycotting the upcoming World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland if Russian tycoons are kept out of the prestigious gathering, VOA News reports.

“If all these decisions that have been made in relation to Russian business representatives are not changed, then we will have to make a decision regarding the cancelation of participation in the Davos forum of state employees and Russian companies where the state has a stake,” Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on November 13.

“Then no one would go there,” he said in televised remarks. “Let’s wait and see.”

Speaking on the sidelines of Italian-sponsored Libya crisis talks in Palermo, the Russian prime minister described the decision as “very strange.”

Medvedev said he had discussed the situation with Swiss President Alain Berset, who he said had promised to look into the issue.

“He said he would make inquiries,” Medvedev added.

The Davos forum takes place in January and is attended by international political and business leaders.

It was reported earlier that several Russian billionaires blacklisted by the United States, including Oleg Deripaska and Viktor Vekselberg, had been asked not to attend the event.

The decision was made under pressure from Washington, Britain’s Financial Times newspaper has reported, citing unnamed sources familiar with the issue.

Russian tycoons were subjected to U.S. sanctions 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.