Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Top Russian Economist May Flee Russia under Pressure

A top Russian economist and government adviser abruptly stepped down from his posts and, according to some sources,  left the country amid pressure on him from investigators, media reported Tuesday. Renowned economist Sergei Guriev has been pressured to leave his post as a professor and rector at the New Economic School in Moscow over his support of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, Vedomosti reported Wednesday. The newspaper, citing a federal government official close to the ruling United Russia party, said the authorities were irritated by Guriev's support of Navalny, for whom Guriev wrote a letter of recommendation to attend a program at Yale University in 2010. Guriev was one of the few prominent Russians to openly support Navalny, who is now on trial for alleged embezzlement. Mr. Guriev said publicly he and his wife had donated 10,000 rubles ($320) to Navalny's anticorruption fund last year. Mr. Guriev departed as investigators probed his role in a case linked to the controversial prosecution of oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, sources said. (video)

UPDATE:  Guriev refuses to return to Russia

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