Tony Brenton said he found it hard to understand why Russia had denied entry to a good friend of the country who had helped it financially. He said Browder, who heads the Hermitage Capital Management investment fund that manages $4 billion in Russia, had invested billions of dollars in the country.
Brenton said he and British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw had been negotiating with the Russian authorities for three months, and hoped Russia would reverse its decision.
Browder's representative said the investor had been returning to Moscow in November after a business trip when he was refused entry on the border, despite having a multiple-entry visa valid until March 2006.
Browder is widely known for being consistently positive about Russia, and has said in many interviews that he aims to dispel myths about the country. Common misconceptions about Russia in the West, Browder says, include growing corruption and sales of state-owned assets at a knockdown price, democratic backsliding, stalled reforms, and the start of a new Cold War after 2004's presidential elections in Ukraine.
He has also said that the Yukos case has not destroyed prospects for the Russian economy as a whole.