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Blackstone Group Backs Off from Russia

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Blackstone, the world’s largest manager of alternative assets, might be ending its search for new assets in Russia. A source close to Blackstone, who did not wish to be identified, told the Financial Times that the firm is not renewing its contracts with consultants in Russia.

Since Vladimir Putin invaded the Crimea over a year ago, tensions have increased between Russia and the West, with sanctions imposed. Three years ago, Steven Schwarzman from Blackstone met with Russian government affiliated Russian Direct Investment fund in 2011. The latter fund raised $10 billion to stimulate private business, attract foreign investment and to make the government less dependent on commodities. Even prior to the sanctions, there were few investments made by the Fund in the past three years.

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U.S. Blackstone spokesman Peter Rose declined to comment.

In April, Schwarzman told investors to take a “wait and see” attitude with Russia before making any moves, since he felt it was better to see the result of international sanctions prior to altering an investment strategy.

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