Russian entrepreneurs want you to think about them, and was not afraid of Putin

Saint Petersburg — the Guys in armor menacingly waving heavy swords, advertising a disney movie about the Russian knights. Russian supermodel Natalia Vodianova scored a three-pointer on the mini-basketball court. Little rocket spewed smoke at the launch site, the model space centre. Businessmen in suits, pereseivat, photographed at the black helicopter in full size.

All it could see was present at the St. Petersburg international economic forum-2017. Entertainment emphasized an optimistic atmosphere inspired by the signs that the Russian economy has started to find a way out of recession.

However, those who followed a three-day event from afar, none of this it wasn’t noticeable. They saw Russian President Vladimir Putin — and his alone. The Kremlin leader was the main theme of his signature economic forum. He compared the hackers to artists, and IP addresses with hoof prints. Then went for a long walk in the Park with the Prime Minister of India Narendra modi, which caused Twitter a storm of responses. It chastised a leading NBC Megyn Kelly (Megyn Kelly), presses on Russia’s intervention in the American elections.

Now, when European governments are trying to understand, do not threaten their electoral systems, Russian hackers, and Washington continues the scandal over alleged collusion between the Kremlin and the members of the electoral headquarters and the administration of President trump, the media interpreted the forum primarily as an opportunity to meet face-to-face with key players in Moscow.

Meanwhile, the leaders of the Russian business community was trying to demonstrate that their country develops digital technology and began to adapt them for commercial civilian use, and stressed their hope that in the future these technologies — and not just oil and gas — will be the basis for the growth of the Russian economy.

This lack of mutual understanding became particularly evident during the open discussion, which was held close to the Kremlin banker Sergei Gorkov, appearing in the FBI investigation because its December for a secret meeting with the son of the President of trump Jared Kushner (Jared Kushner). What was discussed at that meeting remains a mystery. The white house and Vnesheconombank led by Gorkov Russian development Bank, presented conflicting versions. In this regard, Gorkov was the most interesting journalists by the person on the forum.

At some point, looking from the stage in hall scored, he expressed surprise at the large number of audience. It was obvious that all these people didn’t come here to hear about the blockchain network technology, originally created to move digital currencies.

After the discussion, Gorky was besieged by journalists, and he retreated, muttering: “No comment.”

Other representatives of Russian business willing to communicate with me. While they were clearly surprised that the West treats Russia as an insidious force.

“It’s so weird that hate us”, noted Vasily Brovko, Director of special Affairs of the Corporation rostec, which produces all kinds of equipment — Kalashnikov assault rifles, optical devices, helicopters, communication systems, trucks…

Rostec diligently adapts military technology for civilian use in the framework of Putin’s national programme on partial conversion of the defense industry. He is also among the companies that were under U.S. sanctions, imposed in response to the annexation of Crimea and military intervention in Eastern Ukraine. In the view of many Russians — including Brovko, — Russia is being punished for her attempts to protect herself from what she think America supported the coup in Ukraine, and from the expansion of the NATO Alliance, which it perceives as a military threat.

“We left the cold war in the past, but it seems that in America it has been preserved,” said Brovko. He is only 30 years and the cold war, he does not remember. Like others attending the forum, the Russian business leaders, he argues, that Russia has learned to cope and managed to reverse the situation.

External evaluations confirm this.

“In the first quarter of 2017, the Russian economy grew by 0.5%, and direct investments — 2.3% — writes the article about Putin and his forum columnist for Bloomberg News, Leonid Bershidsky. — The debilitating decline in retail sales, to ensure Russia’s long recession has also stopped. Russian non-hydrocarbon exports began to rise slowly, and Putin, in his own words, hopes to accelerate growth in the technological basis.”

Bershidsky also added that “cheeky and mocking tone,” Putin unlikely to encourage people to forget about the scandals trump and Russia — and probably he is right.

However, all the resentment of America and its allies about Russian interference in the elections and the aggressive posture of the Russian leader could not dampen the spirit of some Russian businessmen, after Putin believes that sanctions Russia only grows stronger.

“Russia is a country that is marked by a natural, perhaps genetic, to react to any pressure — said the Chairman of the Russian business Union “Business Russia” Alexey Repik. — If you want to see Russia become the first economy in the world, you only need some big disaster — and Russia will save the world.”