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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

RSPP: Don't Refer to Us as Oligarchs

The Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, or RSPP, is not "a union of oligarchs" and should not be labeled as such in the mass media, Arkady Volsky, RSPP president said Wednesday.

"I beg you, stop calling us the union of oligarchs, or even more so -- the oligarchs' club," he was quoted by Interfax as saying.

"RSPP [unites] 89 regional divisions, unions in 69 industry sectors and over 322,000 individuals. It represents big, medium and small businesses. We are not a club," Volsky said.

Most of the 27 people that make up the union's governing body are billionaires. Among the them is jailed Yukos founder Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who was represented at RSPP's meeting Wednesday by key Yukos shareholder Vasily Shakhnovsky, who was found guilty of tax evasion last week and given a one-year suspended sentence.

"His appearance caused a storm of emotions," Volsky said, without elaborating.