Putin’s Economic Forum guests ‘plan to hide name tags, leave early’

  • Many business leaders fear attending Putin’s annual forum because of the sanctions.
  • Some want their names removed from badges, while others want to leave earlier, sources told Bloomberg.
  • Russian officials representing the United States, France, Italy and Canada speak in some panels.

Business leaders attending Russian President Vladimir Putin’s annual economic forum this week want to keep a low profile, Bloomberg reported.

It’s the 25th anniversary of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), which will take place from June 15 to 18.

Many business tycoons fear being seen attending the forum due to the threat of Western sanctions, prompted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February, three unnamed people with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg. .

Some leaders have asked SPIEF organizers to remove their names from their badges so they cannot be identified, the three sources told Bloomberg. Two leaders plan to leave the event early in order to miss Putin’s speech, the people told Bloomberg.

According to the forum’s program, the CEO of the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia will speak twice, while personalities from the Franco-Russian and Italo-Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce -Eurasia will also speak. in discussions.

The media industry, green energy, Russia’s relations with Asia and food security are just a few of the topics discussed during the forum’s panels. Many panels feature Russian officials as speakers. Bloomberg reported that there were fewer foreign representatives at this year’s event, compared to previous years.

SPIEF organizers did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment made outside of normal working hours.

The price of a ticket for SPIEF costs 960,000 rubles ($16,600) per guest, according to the SPIEF website. The forum also advised attendees to bring cash with them, as Visa and Mastercard bank cards issued outside Russia will not work in the country after the sanctions.

Rufus T. Sifford