Putin's annual economic forum is going ahead but business tycoons want to hide name tags, leave early

Business Insider US
Russian president Vladimir Putin.
  • Many business leaders are worried about attending Putin's annual forum due to sanctions.
  • Some want their names removed from badges, while others want to leave early, sources told Bloomberg.
  • Officials in Russia representing the US, France, Italy, and Canada are speaking on some panels.
  • For more stories visit Business Insider.

Business leaders attending Russian President Vladimir Putin's annual economic forum this week want to keep a low profile, Bloomberg reported.

It's the 25th anniversary of St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), which is set to take place from June 15 to June 18.

Lots of business tycoons are worried about being seen attending the forum because of the threat of Western sanctions, brought on by Russia's invasion of Ukraine in late February, three anonymous people with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg.

Some executives have requested that SPIEF's organizers remove their names from their badges so they can't be identified, the three sources told Bloomberg. Two executives are planning to leave the event early so they miss Putin's speech, the people told Bloomberg.

According to the forum's programme, the CEO of the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia is talking on two occasions, while senior figures from the French-Russian and Italian-Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Canada Eurasia Chamber of Commerce are also taking part in discussions.

The media industry, green energy, Russia's relations with Asia, and food security are just some of the topics covered throughout panels at the forum. Many panels feature Russian officials as speakers. Bloomberg reported that there were fewer foreign representatives at this year's event, compared with previous years.

The organizers of SPIEF didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment made outside of normal working hours.

The price for one ticket to SPIEF costs 960,000 rubles ($16,600) per guest, according to SPIEF's website. The forum has also advised attendees to bring cash with them, given that Visa and Mastercard bank cards issued outside of Russia won't work in the country after sanctions.

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