US embassy in Russia allowed to visit jailed investor Calvey
MOSCOW (AP) — The United States Embassy in Moscow said Tuesday a representative has been allowed to visit the jailed fund manager Michael Calvey, whose detention over an alleged fraud has shaken confidence among foreign investors.
“Today an Embassy representative met with Mr. Calvey to express our support for his well-being and offer the Embassy’s assistance,” spokeswoman Andrea Kalan said on Twitter. “We take seriously our right to visit detained U.S. citizens regularly and ensure they receive humane treatment and access to medical care.”
The embassy had previously complained that Russia was not allowing access to Calvey, who is spending his 12th day in detention. U.S. detainees in Russia are typically granted access to diplomatic help after four days in detention.
Calvey, who co-founded private equity firm Baring Vostok, was detained along with five others in Moscow on Feb. 15. He is a veteran investor in Russia who had stayed even as foreign investment dwindled in the face of international sanctions. His investments have often focused on technology and financial services, rather than the more politically contentious sectors of the Russian economy such as oil and gas.
Russian businessman Sherzod Yusupov, who made the complaint which sparked the investigation, has alleged fellow shareholder Baring Vostok had overvalued shares in another company which were transferred to cover a debt and misrepresented restrictions on those shares.
Baring Vostok maintains the fraud allegation springs from a business dispute between shareholders of Russia’s Vostochny Bank, where Baring Vostok holds a controlling stake. Baring Vostok appealed Monday to Russian President Vladimir Putin to take “personal control” of the case. Putin has not commented on the case publicly.
Russia’s business ombudsman Boris Titov said he too had visited Calvey and that he was being held in good conditions. Titov, who has called for Calvey to be released pending trial, said the U.S. fund manager had told him he didn’t regret investing in Russia.
“He doesn’t doubt a word of what he previously said, that people should come here and invest in the Russian economy,” Titov told reporters outside the Moscow detention facility holding Calvey.
Titov added the case had damaged Russia’s ability to attract investment. “If the case drags on for a long time, I worry it will be hard for us and take time to explain to foreign investors that they should invest in Russia,” he said.
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