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Sechin Thinks Browder Is a 'Happy Man'

Hermitage Capital founder William Browder received returns of "thousands of percent" on capital he invested and nothing was ever expropriated from him, Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.

"In terms of profit from cooperation with Russian assets, he is a happy man," Sechin said.

Browder, who was denied entry into Russia in 2005, spoke sharply of his experience in Russia at a discussion at the World Economic Forum in Davos last month, where he shared the podium with First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov.

Nonetheless, Sechin said, "Personally, I have a very good feeling for Browder. He is adapted to Russia, married to a Russian woman. And of course, his desire to come to Russia is understandable."

"I admit that there are some other reasons for the ban on his entry, but certainly it is not the economy. And certainly it is not his economic interests," Sechin said.

"What exactly had happened then, needs to be studied," he said.

He also characterized Browder as a "man of genius."

Concerning Sergei Magnitsky, the Hermitage lawyer whose death while in custody stirred international outcry, Sechin said he was "confident that the court will clear up everything."

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