Sanctioned Russian billionaire Arkady Volozh denounced the invasion of Ukraine, taking a public stance on the war for the first time as the prospect fades of a deal to sell the search engine he founded.
(Bloomberg) — Sanctioned Russian billionaire Arkady Volozh denounced the invasion of Ukraine, taking a public stance on the war for the first time as the prospect fades of a deal to sell the search engine he founded.
“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is barbaric, and I am categorically against it,” Volozh said in a statement Thursday, adding that he had kept silent until now as he attempted to help Russian engineers at Yandex NV leave the country.
Yandex, which is Russia’s leading search engine and domiciled in the Netherlands, has come under intense pressure both in Russia and abroad since President Vladimir Putin ordered the February 2022 invasion. Last month, the US sanctioned former Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, who’s been advising the company on how to split its Russian and international assets.
As the war has dragged on and the Kremlin took a more aggressive stance against international businesses, the prospects for a deal became more remote. In July, Russia took control of the local units of French yogurt maker Danone SA and Danish brewer Carlsberg A/S under a decree aimed at companies from “unfriendly” countries.
Volozh, who lives in Israel, resigned as Yandex’s chief executive officer last year after he was sanctioned by the European Union.
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