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Putin ‘ready for dialogue’: Russian bank CEO

Russia's President Vladimir Putin speaks at a news conference at the end of the G20 summit in Brisbane November 16, 2014.
Mikhail Klimentyev | RIA Novosti | Kremlin | Reuters
Russia's President Vladimir Putin speaks at a news conference at the end of the G20 summit in Brisbane November 16, 2014.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is ready to have talks about how to resolve the Ukrainian crisis, one of Russia's best-known business figures has told CNBC.

Andrey Kostin, chairman and chief executive of VTB, Russia's second-largest bank, which is part-owned by the Russian state, said: "Mr Putin is ready for dialogue, I think, and the sooner the politicians sit together and resolve this issue, the better for bankers and business."

"Russian leaders have a completely different view on what's happened in Ukraine…Dialogue is the only way to resolve this issue."

This may be belied by Putin's early exit from the G20 leaders' meeting in Brisbane, Australia this week.


Petro Poroshenko, the Ukrainian President, warned on Twitter Monday: "We are prepared for a scenario of total war. We don't want war, we want peace, we are fighting for EU values. Russia doesn't respect any agreement."

However, the news that the head of Rosneft, the Russian state-backed energy giant, will fly to Vienna ahead of a meeting of OPEC, the group of the world's biggest oil producers, next week, could be a sign of Russian business being welcomed in from the international cold.


VTB is considering delisting from the London Stock Exchange over further demands made by the stock exchange, which "go beyond the sanctions imposed by the European Union," according to Kostin.

"We would rather stay…we believe that the LSE is better for us than other stock exchanges," he added. VTB will probably move its listing to Singapore or Hong Kong, Kostin said. He claimed that the bank is not under pressure from the Russian government to take this position.


The Russian bank is one of the main targets of sanctions imposed by the U.S. and Europe in the light of Russian actions in Ukraine.

Since the sanctions came into force, the ruble has tanked against the dollar, and the price of oil, Russia's biggest export, has fallen below $80 a barrel, raising fears that Russia's economy may experience the fallout of sanctions for years.

"I don't think that there's panic on the market," Kostin said – but added that it is important to get a "stable" level on the ruble, even if that level is low.

- By CNBC's Catherine Boyle