Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs comments on the pressure being exerted by the USA in relation to SPIEF
“The purpose of the meeting between a diplomat from the US Embassy in Belgium and a representative of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research of Switzerland was to inform Bern that, as ‘in previous years’, the USA ‘expects’ Switzerland to dissuade its businessmen from visiting the international economic forum in St. Petersburg,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs official representative Maria Zakharova quoted an excerpt from a publication in one Swiss media outlet.
“We are talking here about a neutral party, so can you imagine the tone Washington is taking with countries that are members of, for example, NATO, and are under absolute US control?” Zakharova noted.
She also added that "it has become the norm for Washington to put pressure on decision-making by the business communities of sovereign countries".
“This is an attempt to bring pressure to bear not only on foreign business but also on all foreign relations in general, of no matter what state,” Zakharova stressed.
The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum will be held in 2016 from 16 through 18 June at the ExpoForum Convention and Exhibition Centre.
It was announced previously that Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi planned to take part in the Forum and possibly meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin while there.
French Ambassador to Russia Jean-Maurice Ripert has announced possible participation by a representative of the French Government in the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. Venezuela’s Oil Minister Eulogio del Pino is also expected and there have been announcements of delegates coming from Iraq, headed by Prime Minister of Iraqi Kurdistan Nechirvan Barzani.