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Exiled Kremlin Critic Becomes EBRD Chief Economist

Sergei Guriev

Sergei Guriev, a former adviser to the Russian government who fled the country two years ago, has been appointed chief economist at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the bank said in a statement Tuesday.

Guriev is to take up his post in summer 2016. He will become the first Russian to hold the post at the EBRD, a multilateral lender that disperses funds in former Communist Eastern Europe.

Guriev, 44, left Moscow for Paris in 2013 in fear of arrest as investigators probed his connections with Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the former Yukos owner who was in jail at the time, and Alexei Navalny, an anti-corruption campaigner who has emerged as the most potent opponent to President Vladimir Putin.

Suma Chakrabarti, the current EBRD president, said in the statement, “He brings a huge amount of experience and expertise to the job and to the bank’s executive committee.”

Guriev currently teaches at Sciences Po university in Paris.

The ERBD stopped lending to projects in Russia last year as part of sanctions imposed on Moscow over its actions in Ukraine by Western European countries, which are the bank’s main backers.

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