Rogue states

The Economist

Cross-border policing can be political

Four years ago this week the whistle-blowing accountant Sergei Magnitsky died in jail from beatings and abuse, having uncovered a $230m fraud against the Russian state. His client Bill Browder, a London-based financier, has been campaigning to punish those responsible with visa bans and asset freezes. But the Russian authorities have retaliated and are trying to extradite him on fraud charges, using Interpol, the world police co-operation body. Continue reading

Andrei Borodin: It is a hostile takeover of the bank

Delovie Vedomosti

A.T.: Mr Borodin, why were Eesti Krediidipank (EKP) blocks of shares sold to Firmex and Genovia? Who made the decision and why?
A.B.: The Bank of Moscow sold EKP shares and got what was good money at that time for them. The price was 1.15 of the book value. In 2011 that was a very good coefficient for a bank. Most banks traded at a discount from their book value back then. Some banks, including major Russian banks, were in such a situation even later. And Kostin (BM board chairman – Editor) was aware of the transaction. In a conversation with me before that, he clearly said that they did not need that bank (EKP) and that it was to be sold. That was the commercial sense, a normal and healthy one. Continue reading

Russian banker with an English palace and a dangerous feud

The Telegraph

Andrey and Tatiana
He is the billionaire banker who left Russia for Britain just hours before he could be detained. Granted political asylum in February – to the fury of President Vladimir Putin – Andrey Borodin has settled in the UK, taking up residence with his wife and daughter in Britain’s most expensive home.

Now, in his first face-to-face interview since he arrived in March 2011, the former president of the Bank of Moscow has warned David Cameron to beware of the Russian leader. Continue reading

A Magnitsky law for Europe

Financial Times

The US statute is a pro-Russian, not anti-Russian, act

Even by its own recent standards, Moscow’s response to the US Magnitsky law, which bars Russian officials accused of human rights violations from the US, has been ugly. President Vladimir Putin last week signed into law a ban on US citizens adopting Russian children. In effect, this strands thousands of Russia’s most vulnerable citizens in often appalling orphanages, as hostages to US-Russian relations. Continue reading

If you go against the Kremlin, you’ve got to pay

Tribune de Geneve

Exiled in London, the fallen oligarch Andrey Borodin talks about the system of power and opposition in Russia

Tristan de Bourbon – London

Exiled to the UK for the last year and a half, Andrey Borodin paints a terrifying picture of the system that governs his country.

What are you doing in London?
I left my country at the end of March 2011 for a family weekend celebrating the birthday of my daughter. I haven’t been back to my country since then. In just a few months I became an enemy of the Kremlin, in particular prime minister Dmitry Medvedev because I dared to go against his wishes a bit too forcefully. Continue reading

Billionaire Borodin Denounces Dirty Game After Swiss Bank Freeze

Bloomberg

By Henry Meyer

Russian billionaire Andrei Borodin accused Russia of playing “a dirty game” aimed at crippling him financially by freezing his assets and called on Switzerland and other states to release his funds.

Borodin, former chief executive of the Bank of Moscow, is wanted in connection with the embezzlement of Moscow City Hall funds, according to the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office. Borodin, 45, says he is innocent and that he hopes money in the politically-motivated case will be unfrozen “very” quickly. Continue reading

The ‘Magnitsky List’ could be the only way of fighting for Russian citizens

DailyMail Online

In recent years events connected with Russia and Russian citizens have become a regular feature in the British media. Unfortunately, the frequent appearance of such headlines is not a result of strengthening of friendship and collaboration between the two states. Often these reports accompany scandalous trials in British courts, violation of human rights in the Russian Federation, and so on. For instance, today the Magnitsky Legacy round table sessions are taking place in the Parliament building in London. All this attests to the fact that the Russian justice and law-enforcement systems are in a deep crisis and leave no hope for fair decisions based on compliance with legal provisions or, at least, human rights. Continue reading

Russia Returns to Stricter Control

Stratfor

November 5, STRATFOR


NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA / AFP / GettyImages

The Kremlin has reverted to its strict policies of 2003-2007, cracking down on its opponents to get the population back under control after a tumultuous year. As part of this campaign, the last of the Western-backed Cold War radio programs, Radio Svoboda (Liberty), will shut down Nov. 10 when a new law forbidding foreign control of broadcasting licenses goes into effect. This is just one in a series of laws recently passed by the Kremlin that puts restrictions on the Internet, labels nongovernmental agencies as “foreign agents,” and cracks down on the opposition. Continue reading