As it became known to the Swiss newspaper Le Matin, diplomat of the American Embassy in Bern met in early April with representatives of the Swiss State Secretariat for economic Affairs (SECO).
His message, the paper notes, was that “as in previous years” U.S. “expects” that Switzerland does not recommend your companies to send members of senior management at the St. Petersburg international economic forum is the largest economic event in Russia, which will be held from 16 to 17 June.
In addition, the diplomat stated that the US wants to give a clear signal that there is no “business as usual” with Russia impossible, said Le Matin.
In the Ministry of foreign Affairs of Switzerland confirmed the content of the conversation, the newspaper added.
A former American diplomat explained to the newspaper that this is “American style.” According to him, “all the diplomats, in the end, do it, even if it may be a bit annoying”.
“They think that they are the masters of the world”, — said the interlocutor of the newspaper. He also noted that conversations like this are normal in the course of communication diplomats.
On the eve of last year’s St. Petersburg economic forum the Financial Times with reference to businessmen and diplomats reported that the United States decided to soften its stance compared to the 2014 year and will not dissuade the heads of major American companies from participating the event.
St. Petersburg economic forum in 2016 will be for the third time take place in conditions of Western sanctions. The theme of the forum this year — “On the threshold of a new economic reality.” It is expected that the “political star” of the forum will be Prime Minister of Italy Matteo Renzi.
One of the interviewees about the selection status of the guest said that the forum “invite a senior person — policy from old Europe, from a country that either did not support sanctions against Russia, or urged them to cancel”. Italy in December 2015 were opposed to automatic renewal of sanctions against Russia, moreover, Italy is the third largest turnover of bilateral trade partner of Russia in the EU.
According to a source close to the organizers of the forum, this year in the list of potential participants already confirmed their participation — the head of Siemens Joe Kezer, the head of the Gunvor and long-time partner of businessman Gennady Timchenko, thorbjørn Tornquist, Chairman of the management Board of Metro AG Olaf Koch, the head of Total Patrick Pouyanne, the head of Glencore Ivan glasenberg, as well as the Japanese business delegation, including top officials of corporations Mitsubishi and Mitsui.