Berezovsky-Abramovich trial discussions damage Russia's image -ambassador
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MOSCOW, February 10 - RAPSI. Discussions about Russia's recent past during the Berezovsky vs Abramovich legal battle have created a less than favorable image of Russia among Britons, Russian Ambassador in the UK Alexander Yakovenko said on Friday.
"I watched the situation from London and I can say that the descriptions of Russia's past hardly create the best possible image," he said in an interview with the Voice of Russia radio station.
Boris Berezovsky claimed in his lawsuit that Roman Abramovich intimidated him and his partner Badri Patarkatsishvili into selling a number of assets for significantly less than their value, including a 43-percent stake in Sibneft and a share in the Rusal aluminum group.
Berezovsky alleged that Abramovich abused his confidence.
Abramovich challenged the statement that Berezovsky owned any stakes in these companies. The Chelsea football club owner said he paid millions of dollars, often in cash, to Berezovsky only for political protection and the payments were made legally.
The ambassador said Russia's image needs to be built favorably by increasing the general public's awareness of its economic achievements and progress.
"This work should be a priority for Russian embassies. We are active in our effort to inform ordinary people and the city about the work going on in Russia," he added.
Yakovenko said the embassy provides support to business events and presentations in the UK where Russians participate.
He stressed that the investment and business climate in Russia is better than how it is shown in the news. One example is BP, which gained $4 billion over a year through its TNK-BP venture, he said.