Neil Buckley, Eastern Europe Editor of the Financial Times interviewed Sergei Pugachev. He writes:
Sergei Pugachev, the exiled Russian tycoon once nicknamed the “Kremlin’s banker” has said a Russian attempt to extradite him from Britain is politically motivated and he fears being sent back to his homeland.
The industrialist says the bankruptcy was caused by the Russian state expropriating billions of dollars of assets from him, including shipyards, and construction and energy projects, after he fell out with the Kremlin, where he was once a trusted insider.
Mr Pugachev told the FT he sent a letter to Vladimir Putin last December informing the Russian president he intended to launch an international arbitration case under a bilateral investment treaty between Russia and France, of which he is a citizen.
The letter set a six-month deadline for the dispute over his business empire to be resolved through negotiations, which expired last week.
Buckley quoted Pugachev: “This is all a consequence of my fight against Russia . . . and against particular people who committed crimes during the expropriation. Everything that is happening in England and the legal prosecution in Russia has taken on an entirely punitive nature.”