Putin courts Russian business, keeps mum on jailed US exec

Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures while speaking at a meeting of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, March 14, 2019. Putin urged the business community to engage more actively in major infrastructure projects and vowed to create more incentives and help reduce investment risks. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin has promised that the government will do more to encourage investments and reduce business risks.

Putin’s speech Thursday at a meeting of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs comes weeks after the arrest of U.S. investment fund manager Michael Calvey, which has rattled the country’s business community and spooked international investors.

Calvey, a veteran investor who co-founded private equity firm Baring Vostok in 1994, was detained last month along with five others in Moscow on charges of embezzlement. He has denied wrongdoing.

Putin spoke Thursday about the need to protect investors and reduce their risks, but he didn’t refer to Calvey’s case.

The president also urged Russian business executives to join the nation’s top infrastructure projects and invest more in green technologies.

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