Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, who is under Western sanctions, suggests that the prospects for peace in Ukraine are dim until at least May 2025. Additionally, he notes the unlikelihood of constructive talks at Davos due to the absence of a Russian delegation.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, French President Emmanuel Macron, and key Middle East leaders are slated to participate in the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, next week, with discussions on resolving conflicts in Gaza and Ukraine taking center stage.
Russian Oligarch Oleg Deripaska close to the Kremlin
Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, a 56-year-old oligarch with fortunes tied to aluminum plants, expressed disappointment about the absence of a constructive discussion on Ukraine due to the absence of a Russian delegation. Posting on Telegram, he remarked, “Don’t expect peace before May 25,” according to Reuters. Deripaska is subject to Western sanctions due to alleged ties to Vladimir Putin.
Deripaska was among the first Russian oligarchs to criticize the war in Ukraine almost a year ago. During an economic forum in Siberia, he foresaw potential financial challenges for the Russian state, stating it might run out of money the following year and necessitate foreign investment.
In February 2022, Deripaska emphasized the importance of peace for the business environment, and by March, he reiterated a call for peace, envisioning a different world and Russia post the Ukraine conflict. In June 2022, he made unusually strong statements for a Russian elite member, labeling Putin’s war against Ukraine a “colossal mistake.”
Despite his proximity to the Kremlin, oligarch Oleg Deripaska, the founder of Russian aluminum giant Rusal, has been forthright in expressing dissent. Once Russia’s richest man, he lost that title during the 2007-2009 financial crisis. In a press conference held in Moscow, he condemned the war, stating it would be a colossal error for Russia to destroy Ukraine. His use of the term “war” was prohibited in Russia at that time.
Deripaska, seen as Putin’s most trusted industrialist, has consistently doubted the efficacy of sanctions, referring to them as a “19th-century tool.” Oligarch Oleg Deripaska dismissed sanctions as a “miracle weapon” in a globalized world, emphasizing their slow impact on the Russian economy. Despite facing US sanctions since 2018 over suspicions of influencing the 2016 US election, Deripaska remains resilient.
The European Union, Great Britain, Canada, and Australia imposed sanctions on him following the onset of the war in Ukraine. Deripaska’s perspectives present a unique perspective within the Russian elite, challenging conventional narratives and advocating for a different approach to international relations.