February 7th, 2012

An inside account of a closed-door meeting between Alexey Navalny and Russia’s business elite

Business Insider has a first-person narrative from Ivan Tchakarov of Renaissance Capital who attended a secret meeting in Moscow last week between opposition leader Alexey Navalny and about two dozen investment bankers, analysts and fund managers, who together control about $20-$25 billion of capital.

Tchakarov writes about the opposition blogger:

[Navalny] appears all of a sudden, and the first impression is definitely positive. Smartly dressed, tall, imposing. […] There is this unmistakable aura of determination and decisiveness about [him].

Alexey Navalny

But despite this steely-eyed determination to lead a movement, he is “quite fuzzy” on his economic views:

He says his goal is now to fight corruption and fight for wider political participation, rather than write economic programs [but] he is absolutely sure that Putin is just throwing sand in people’s eyes and is not ready to loosen the political constraints and put his coterie of corrupt underlings in prison.

All of this adds up to Tchakarov’s assessment that Navalny is elusive and hard to understand, “but two things are clear: he adds an interesting flavor to the current political process and he has a very long road in front of him to ingratiate himself with the majority of Russians.”

Click here read the full story.

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