Russia attacks Ukraine: Russian billionaire calls for peace

LONDON – Two Russian billionaires, Mikhail Fridman and Oleg Deripaska, called for an end to the conflict over President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, which Fridman called a tragedy for the people of both countries.

Billionaire Fridman, who was born in western Ukraine, told employees in a letter that the conflict is fueling ties between two eastern Slavic peoples, Russia and Ukraine, who are already brothers in many centuries.

“I was born in Western Ukraine and lived there until I was 17 years old. My parents are Ukrainian citizens and live in Lviv, my favorite city,” Fridman wrote in the letter, citing content obtained by Reuters. see.

“But I’ve also spent most of my life as a citizen of Russia, building and growing businesses. I’m deeply attached to the Ukrainian and Russian peoples and consider the current conflict a a tragedy for both.”

Russian billionaire, Oleg Deripaska, used a Telegram post to call for peace talks to begin “as quickly as possible.”

“Peace is very important,” said Deripaska, founder of Russian aluminum giant Rusal, in which he still owns shares through his stake in parent company En + Group.

On February 21, Deripaska said that there would be no war.

Washington has imposed sanctions on Deripaska and other influential Russians for their ties to Putin following allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 US election, which Moscow denies.

Russia’s so-called oligarchs, who wielded considerable influence over then-president Boris Yeltsin in the 1990s, are facing economic turmoil after the West imposed severe sanctions on Russia over Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Putin, after consulting with the security council of senior officials, said he had ordered a special military operation to protect the people, including Russian citizens, from “genocide” – an allegation the West calls baseless propaganda.

Ukraine’s presidential office said talks between Kyiv and Moscow would be held at the Belarus-Ukraine border.

“This crisis will take lives and damage two countries that have been brothers for hundreds of years,” said Fridman.

“While a solution may seem frighteningly far-fetched, I can only join those who have a fervent desire to end the bloodshed. I’m sure my partners share my views as well. I.”

One of Fridman’s longtime partners, Pyotr Aven, attended a meeting in the Kremlin with Putin and 36 other major Russian businessmen last week, the Kremlin said.

Another billionaire in Moscow told Reuters on condition of anonymity that the war would turn out to be a disaster.

“It would be catastrophic in every way: for the economy, for relations with the rest of the world, for the political situation,” the billionaire said.

The billionaires who gathered to have a meeting with Putin at the Kremlin on Thursday were silent, he said.

“Business people know the consequences very well. But who is consulting the business world about this?”

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