Tony James, president and chief operating officer of Blackstone, is disputing a recent published report that the $279 billion private equity group was "giving up on Russia."
"I don't know where that came from," he told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Tuesday. "We were never in Russia. We've never had an office, employee or investment in Russia."
The Financial Times
"Blackstone, which does not have an office in Russia, has chosen not to renew the contracts of the consultants it employs in the country. According to a person with knowledge of the matter, the move will bring to an end Blackstone's embryonic attempts to break into Russia."
James told CNBC that Blackstone does have a consultant there but has not determined whether or not to renew the contract. "We haven't decided yet. We make that decision at the end of the year with all of our senior advisors all over the world."
Asked repeatedly if the FT story was wrong, James would only say he didn't write it. "That story is the facts I just gave you," he added. "We have nothing in Russia."
The FT told CNBC it stands behind its story.