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Russia is now 'absolutely uninvestable,' says Hermitage Capital's William Browder

  • William Browder, co-founder of Hermitage Capital, which specializes in Russian markets, said on CNBC's "Power Lunch" he has had numerous threats on his life and "nobody should get involved in that country."
  • Browder said the threats stemmed from legislation he has lobbied for aimed at sanctioning officials believed to be involved in the death of Russian Sergei Magnitsky.
  • He also said he knows Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who met with Donald Trump Jr., and that she "had an agenda coming from the top of the Russian government."

The former largest foreign investor in Russia said the country is now "completely, absolutely uninvestable."

William Browder, co-founder of Hermitage Capital, which specializes in Russian markets, said Wednesday on CNBC's "Power Lunch" he has had numerous threats on his life and "nobody should get involved in that country."

"You don't just risk losing money investing over there," said Browder, who has been blacklisted from investing in the country. "You risk your life."

Browder said the threats stemmed from legislation he has lobbied for in multiple countries, including the United States and Great Britain, aimed at sanctioning officials believed to be involved in the death of Russian Sergei Magnitsky. Magnitsky was a lawyer who died in custody at a Russian jail after revealing large-scale theft in the country sanctioned and carried out by the Russian government, according to Browder.

In the United States, the sanction legislation is known as the Magnitsky Act.

Due to his extensive experience in Russia, Browder said, he knows Natalia Veselnitskaya well. She is the Russian lawyer at the center of the explosive story involving Donald Trump Jr. and contact with Russian government officials during last year's presidential campaign.

Browder said Veselnitskaya probably "made 12 attempts to get into the Trump camp" and the attempt to reach Trump Jr. is the one that got through. Browder also said he suspected she made similar attempts to contact the Clinton campaign.

"She had an agenda coming from the top of the Russian government to get rid of [the Magnitsky Act], and she was using every tool she had," Browder said.

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