London: As the Russian-Ukrainian war continues after more than a month, the Indian-born British finance minister was asked on Thursday about the Russian presence of Infosys, the Indian software services company which also has an office in Moscow . The wife of British Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, Akshata Murty, owns a share of Infosys.Read also – Moscow forcibly takes thousands of civilians to Russia and could use them as “hostages” to pressure kyiv: Ukraine
In reference to the harsh sanctions imposed on Russia, the British finance minister, son-in-law of Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy, was questioned live if his business advice was not followed at home. The Minister stressed that the operations of individual companies are business for them. Also Read – Russian Forces Led by Vladimir Putin Committed War Crimes in Ukraine, Says Antony Blinken
It has been reported that you have family ties to Russia, your wife apparently has a stake in Indian consultancy firm Infosys, a Sky News reporter said in the TV interview. Read also – “This morning, Russian phosphorus bombs were used”: Ukrainian President Zelensky tells NATO
They operate in Moscow, they have an office there, they have a delivery office there. They have a connection with the Alpha Bank in Moscow. Do you give advice to others that you don’t follow in your own home?, she asked.
Sunak replied that as an elected politician he was giving the interview about what he was responsible for.
My wife is not, he said.
When asked if his family potentially benefits from Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime, he said: I don’t think that’s the case, and as I said, the operations of all businesses depend on them.
We have significant sanctions in place and all the companies we are responsible for are following them as they rightly should, sending a very strong message of aggression from Putin.
He was then asked if Infosys, which also has a presence in the UK, was sending a similar ‘strong message’.
I have absolutely no idea because I have nothing to do with that company, Sunak replied.
An Infosys statement said the multinational software services company supports and advocates for peace between Russia and Ukraine.
The release states, “Infosys has a small team of employees based in Russia, which serves some of our global customers locally. We do not have active business relationships with local Russian companies.
“One of Infosys’ top priorities in times of adversity is to continue to extend its support to the community. The company has committed $1 million to relief efforts for war victims in Ukraine.
The UK has imposed sweeping sanctions on Russian businesses and individuals, with Sunak appealing to all UK businesses to think very carefully about any investment in Russia amid the ongoing Ukraine conflict.
I urge companies to think very carefully about their investments in Russia and how they might help the Putin regime and I am also convinced that there is no need for new investments in Russia. We must collectively go further in our mission to inflict maximum economic suffering and stop further bloodshed, he said earlier this month.
(With PTI entries)