Update: Recently, Atlantic Council held a private dinner with Russian oligarchs Mikhail Fridman and Pyotr Aven, provoking some criticism among Russian exiles.
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Recently, word got out that the Atlantic Council was hosting a private dinner with the Russian oligarchs Mikhail Fridman and Pyotr Aven, head of the powerful Russian Alfa Group. (Note: Atlantic Council was The Interpreter’s media partner in 2017).
American think tanks take money from sponsors, that is quite official. This, by the way, is one of the ways of getting a job in a think tank, well known to many of the signers of the letter. A company comes to the think tank and says “hire so-and-so, we will sponsor you, and you take this money, minus your 35%, and pay it to him as salary, insurance, etc. That is, this goes on everywhere — it’s a Pulcinella [open] secret.
Latynina also tells the story of how Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Dzhemilev was also making the rounds in Washington recently, pressing the cause of his people, who have been savaged under Russian occupation (he himself was barred from the peninsula and lives in Kiev now). He ran into Aven who happened to be at the Atlantic Council. Aven was carrying a “thick book,” which turned out to be his own book, The Time of Berezovskky but he was unable to give Dzhemilev the copy, as he had to give it to someone else.
The following is a translation of Orlova’s piece by The Interpreter:
“The speech by Mikhail Fridman and Pyotr Aven was
undoubtedly interesting for the experts on Russia. It was important for them to hear first-hand what potential victims of sanctions think about sanctions. It was useful to hear their arguments. This is indeed part of the process of decision-making in Washington.”
We are totally in agreement with the respected Yuliya Latynina: the opinion of the respected Mikhail Fridman and Pyotr Aven is important to be heard first-hand. No less important, however, is not discrediting the audience, and in particular, Russians before Americans. Therefore, we decided that the opinion of the co-owners of Alfa Group about where the country Russia is headed under the leadership of the short-sighted (and not only that) Vladimir Putin should be heard by Russians as well. After all, that is real patriotism — to tell your fellow citizens, and not some Americans over there, the truth. That is why we are publishing this article.
— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick