"Yes, I will definitely be in St. Petersburg, so see you there", Dudley told reporters when asked about his participation. Media reported earlier in the day that US entrepreneurs were considering the possibility of boycotting the St. Petersburg forum in response to the arrest of US investor Michael Calvey.
Calvey, the US founder of Moscow-based Baring Vostok investment group, was detained in Moscow alongside five other suspects in February over suspected complicity in the theft of 2.5 billion rubles (over $38 million) from Russia's Vostochny Bank.
On 16 February, Moscow's Basmanny Court ordered Calvey to be held in custody for two months. Calvey insists that he is not guilty and has not committed any crimes.
Since the opening of an investigation into Calvey's case, several US businesses have canceled their previously planned investor visits to Russia or have sought consultation regarding the safety of their US employees staying in Russia, people with knowledge of the discussions told the newspaper.
Andrea Kalan, the spokesperson at the US Embassy in Moscow, told RIA Novosti on Tuesday that the arrest of US investor Michael Calvey undermines efforts to attract investment in Russia and to develop business ties.
"Mr. Calvey’s continued detention undermines efforts to create the stability and transparency needed to attract new investment in Russia’s economy and encourage more robust business interaction", Kalan said.
SPIEF, held annually in Russia's second largest city of St. Petersburg, is a major global platform for communication between business representatives and the discussion of crucial economic issues. This year the event will be held 6-8 June.