Friedman, who was born in western Ukraine, wrote in a letter to staff that he wanted to “end the bloodshed.”
“My parents are Ukrainians and live in Lviv, my favorite city. But I have also spent most of my life as a Russian in building and growing businesses. I am deeply attached to the Ukrainian and Russian peoples and see the current conflict as a “tragedy for both,” Friedman wrote.
In the letter, he added, “This crisis will cost lives and destroy two nations that have been brothers for hundreds of years. While a solution seems frighteningly elusive, I can only join those whose fervent desire is to end the bloodshed.” It was supplied by his office. The Financial Times was the first to report on the letter.
The billionaire is also the chairman of the board of directors of Alfa Bank, the fourth largest financial services company in Russia and its largest private bank. Alpha Bank was hit last week with sanctions that prevent it from raising funds across the US market.
Friedman’s call for peace resonated with Deripaska, a billionaire who made his fortune in the aluminum business.
“Peace is very important! Negotiations must start as soon as possible!” Deripaska said Sunday in a post on Telegram.
He also touched on the economic situation in a series of publications on Monday with the collapse of the ruble and the failure of the Russian stock market to open trading.
“I really want clear clarifications and comments on economic policy for the next three months,” Deripaska said, adding that the central bank’s decision to drastically raise interest rates and force companies to sell foreign currency is “the first test of who will actually pay for this banquet.”
“It is necessary to change economic policy, [we] We need to put an end to all this state capitalism.”
The US is even targeting the families of the oligarchs – a new move aimed at eroding support for Putin among the Russian elite. Last week, the US Treasury imposed sanctions on the children of two of Putin’s closest officials.
“Elites close to Putin continue to take advantage of their closeness to the Russian president to plunder the Russian state, enrich themselves, and elevate their family members to some of the highest positions of power,” the Treasury said in its announcement of the sanctions.
Anna Stewart contributed to this article.
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