Putin's best friend

Billionaire Arkady Rotenberg is confident that he will remain a friend of Vladimir Putin even after he leaves the presidency of the country. Previously, the businessman said that Putin’s resignation would not affect his business.
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Arkady Rotenberg was interviewed by RT TV channel Sofiko Shevardnadze. When asked if he thought about what his life would be like under another president, Rotenberg replied: “Of course, I think about it.” According to the billionaire, they are friends with Putin and will remain friends "no matter what." "Our friendship has passed the test of time - more than 50 years," - said the businessman. He did not give any other comments on this.

Seven years ago, a similar question asked Rotenberg in an interview with Forbes: what is Putin threatened with a billionaire with? Rotenberg then replied: “Nothing. As we worked, so will we. We have a stable and transparent business. ” Rotenberg refused to compare with the wife of the former mayor of Moscow Elena Baturina, who, after the resignation of her husband, "felt the pressure." He stated: “If we recall the history of our country, then lawlessness and arbitrariness are always possible. But then it will be chaos for all and arbitrariness. Vladimir Vladimirovich does not protect me. ” The businessman stressed that the president will not be able to say: “Do not touch him, he is good!” If Rotenberg is engaged in “not some business, but some business”. However, “it is unacceptable for me to do something bad for me,” the billionaire added.

Vladimir Putin himself acknowledged his friendship with a number of businessmen, including Arkady Rotenberg, Boris Rotenberg and Gennady Timchenko, in 2014, after the United States imposed sanctions on certain Russian entrepreneurs. “Yes, these are my good friends and acquaintances,” the president said during the direct line. Then he made a reservation that they all started doing business and earned capital long before they met him. “I am not ashamed of my friends,” the head of state added.

What else has Rothenberg told

Speaking of US personal sanctions against him, the billionaire noted that “it would be better without them,” but the restrictions “are not much disturbed.” Rotenberg did not give an assessment of his losses from the sanctions, moreover, he stated that he had “lost nothing”. The position of Oleg Deripaska, that sanctions limit foreign investment in the Russian economy, the billionaire called "too pessimistic."

The construction of the Crimean bridge, which his company was engaged in, Rothenberg compared with the birth of a child: “We built a bridge, and now he is our child <...> I knew too well what could happen if we did not build this bridge. Honestly, I could not sleep at night, thinking about it. "

Rotenberg believes that it is impossible to fight corruption only with punishments. “In my opinion, evolutionary changes are needed. Restrictions and penalties will not lead anywhere. When you prevent your children from doing anything, they will only think about how to do it anyway. So there are no prohibitions and none of those numerous arrests ... ”, said the businessman. Examples of such "ineffective" arrests did not lead.

Rotenberg is confident that the business climate in the country is getting "better and better." When asked by the moderator if someone in Russia could take away business from the owner, Rotenberg said: “Nothing is impossible.” At the same time, the billionaire is confident that Russian companies should keep capital at home, and not offshore: “Russian businessmen wanted to build a business in the West, because they feared that someone in Russia would take everything from them. But now the opposite is true: their enterprises abroad are seized, assets frozen and locked. And now they are sitting and whining, ”said the billionaire.