“A Crying Matter” (letter from a reader)

Dear Mr Borodin,

You must be following the surrealistic events taking place in Russia, but the latest bluffing by government “corruption fighters” simply cannot leave me indifferent.

Sergei Stepashin, whom you have known for quite a while, has distinguished himself again this week. At an anti-corruption forum, which, ironically, takes place at the Audit Chamber, he decided to show how his office is working on Kremlin orders by sending letters to governments of civilized nations. “I sent a letter to my colleague, the auditor general of the United Kingdom, where Mr Borodin is seeking political asylum, in which letter I list all the facts of violations committed by this ill-fated banker that have been discovered by the Audit Chamber.”

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Letter from employee of Segezhskiy CBK, a part of Investlesprom holding

Dear Andrey,

I have little hopes that you will read my letter, but here it is anyway:

I am a contractor of ‘Segezhskiy CBK’ that prepares forest materials. I started working recently. But I already positioned myself as a trustworthy partner that everyone can rely on. However all this time I am working for free and never received payment from the company: the possibilities of my investments are decreasing: I understand that for you the sum of 5-6 million roubles is not very big: but for me this, in the initial stages of period of development, unfortunately, is a limit. Please kindly tell me whether in future it is necessary to do something considering present misunderstandings between bank of Moscow and VTB? Or the business will die gradually, as does everything good in Russia?

I will really appreciate your honest answer!


[Name withheld]

Andrey Borodin replies:

I am saddened, but not surprised by the situation described in this letter.

Earlier this month I sent an open letter to VTB chairman, expressing concern about the negative social and economic consequences of VTB’s decision to stop negotiations to acquire assets in Russia, which were set up with the help of Bank of Moscow financing, and urging VTB to resume the negotiating process. Companies such as Segezhskiy plant are of particular concern as they provide jobs for almost the entire working population of Segezha. Unfortunately, my letter to Mr. Kostin has been ignored.

I would like to offer my help to this person and many other people in a similar situation, but I fear that VTB will not listen to me and will continue to ignore my requests for cooperation, which aims to save the assets, such as Segezhskiy CBK. It is extremely frustrating for me personally to not be able to help in this situation, caused by VTB’s irresponsible behaviour.