Russia’s richest businessman, Vladimir Potanin, has urged the Russian government, led by President Vladimir Putin, not to return the country to 1917 as the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine continues.
Potanin urged the Kremlin against seizing the assets of enterprises that fled the nation in the aftermath of Ukraine’s invasion, claiming that such a move would throw Russia back more than a century.
The President of metals giant Norilsk Nickel (NILSY) and its biggest shareholder said that Russia risked returning to the tumultuous days of the 1917 revolution if it closed the door on Western companies and investors.
Potanin called on the Russian government to carry on with extreme caution regarding the seizure of assets.
“Firstly, it would take us back a hundred years, to 1917, and the consequences of such a step, global distrust of Russia on the part of investors, we would experience for many decades,” Potanin said in a message posted on Norilsk Nickel’s Telegram account.
“Secondly, the decision of many companies to suspend operations in Russia is, I would say, somewhat emotional in nature and may have been taken as a result of unprecedented pressure on them from public opinion abroad. So most likely, they will come back. And personally, I would keep such an opportunity for them,” he added.
Recall that Potanin is Russia’s wealthiest billionaire and still worth about $22.5 billion, according to Bloomberg.
Meanwhile, Putin, who had ordered the invasion of Ukraine over disagreements on some political issues, had listed some conditions to end the war.