Kremlin Says It Wants to See Arrested U.S. Investor Calvey at Forum

(Bloomberg) -- The Kremlin would like to see U.S. investor Michael Calvey, now under house arrest in Moscow on fraud charges, attend the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum this week, and hopes that he and his partner are ultimately released, spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday.

“We would like to see Michael among the participants at the forum because he’s been quite an active player in the Russian market for more than 15 years,” Peskov said in an interview on Russia’s RT television. “We all know him as a very trustworthy businessman devoted to the Russian market.”

President Vladimir Putin is personally following the case and receiving regular updates, he said

Peskov’s comments are among the strongest public expressions of support from the Kremlin for Calvey, a longtime investor in Russia through his private-equity fund Baring Vostok Capital Partners. Calvey’s lawyers are petitioning investigators for permission for him to attend the forum. Several of his colleagues, including French national Philippe Delpal, remain in jail despite appeals for their release from top Russian and international executives.

“We do hope that at the end those gentlemen will be freed,” Peskov said, speaking in English. But he said it’s up to the courts to make the final determination.

The charges against Calvey shook the investment community in Russia and drew criticism from top Kremlin advisers and state-company executives. Calvey and his colleagues deny the fraud charges, which they say are part of a business dispute with Russian investors.

Peskov also said that Russia still hasn’t gotten a formal request for a meeting between Putin and President Donald Trump at the Group of 20 summit in Japan late this month.

“Not meeting each other is illogical and it contradicts with the national interests of our two countries,” Peskov said. “We still don’t know whether the meeting is going to take place or not.”

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