President Vladimir Putin urged Russia’s millionaires to spend at home to boost the economy under Western sanctions.
Putin reminded Russia’s business elite in person for the first time since he ordered his forces into Ukraine on Feb. 24 last year that they should help society and create money.
“A responsible entrepreneur is a true citizen of Russia, of his country, who understands and works in its interests,” Putin stated.
“He registers firms in our nation, does not conceal assets overseas, and does not become dependent on foreign agencies.”
He praised the “noble mission” of entrepreneurs who cared for their employees and used their abilities for the greater good.
Oleg Deripaska, Vladimir Potanin, Alexei Mordashov, German Khan, Viktor Vekselberg, Viktor Rashnikov, Andrei Melnichenko, and Dmitry Mazepin—billionaires with interests in metals, banking, and fertilizers—attended the conference.
Putin asked them how to create a more dynamic economy that would “noticeably improve the quality of life of people across the nation.”
Despite being greeted with a standing ovation, he warned Russia’s richest: they should prioritize the nation’s interests before their own.
At the start of the conflict, Putin informed them that he had no option but to conduct his “special military operation,” forcing them to approve publicly.
Oligarchs, or tycoons, were sanctioned by the West, which Putin has used to argue that investing at home is safer. He warned business executives last month that ordinary Russians had little compassion for their boats and castles being confiscated.