Mayoral candidate Alexei Navalny held a high-profile meeting with businessmen and top executives at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Moscow on Monday as part of his fundraising efforts, the Dozhd television channel reported.
Sergei Guriev, former rector of the New Economic School, spoke to the audience using Skype. Guriev, who has consistently supported Navalny, emigrated to France in April, citing pressure by Russian authorities.
The meeting was attended by about 100 people, including representatives of state-controlled bank Sberbank, and by Otkrytiye, BNP Paribas and Prosperity Capital Management.
Businesses had not risked openly supporting the opposition since the early 2000s but this changed during the current mayoral campaign, with 204 entrepreneurs signing a "social contract" with Navalny since Aug. 7.
An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that a representative of VTB Capital attended the meeting with Alexei Navalny. In fact, it was attended by Oleg Achkasov, who formerly worked at VTB Capital but no longer does.