Rishi Sunak denies Russian ties through firm’s shares owned by wife

LONDON (Parliament Politics Magazine) – Rishi Sunak has denied any ties to a global corporation co-owned by his wife and operating in Russia during the Ukraine conflict.

The chancellor stated that he had “nothing to do” with Infosys, a company in which his wife Akshata Murty owns shares.

He has pushed British businesses to leave Russia in order to cause economic anguish to President Vladimir Putin.

Ms Murty, according to Mr Sunak’s spokesperson, played no part in Infosys’ operational choices.

Ms Murty’s father Narayana, an Indian billionaire who retired from the company in 2014, was a co-founder of the software mammoth.

The firm, which was founded in 1981, has subsequently expanded into a number of nations and has a presence in Moscow.

Ms Murty is listed as owning 0.9 percent of the company’s shares, which are reputedly worth hundreds of millions of pounds, according to the company’s most recent annual report.

In the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, India has not followed the lead of Western countries, especially the United Kingdom, in imposing trade sanctions on Russia.

Mr Sunak stated earlier this month that the government would totally support UK companies that willingly leave Russia.

The chancellor said he welcomed the “agreement on the need to inflict maximum economic pain on Putin and his dictatorship” after meeting with a group of major British companies.

“While I recognise that winding down existing investments may be difficult, I believe there is no case for fresh investment in the Russian economy,” he continued.

“I’m advising asset owners and managers to think twice about any investments that assist Putin and his administration in any way.”

On Thursday, when asked about Infosys’ presence in Russia, Mr Sunak told Sky News: “I’m a politician who was elected, and I’m here to tell you about my responsibilities. My wife is not one of them.”

He went on to say that the operations of businesses were “up to them.”

“We’ve set in place hefty sanctions, and all of the corporations we’re responsible for are obeying them,” the chancellor said.

Ms Murty is “one of thousands of minority shareholders in the company,” according to a spokesperson for the chancellor.

“It is a public firm,” they noted, “and neither she nor any member of her family has any influence in the company’s operational choices.”

Infosys has a “small team of personnel based in Russia” that “serves some of our global clients locally,” 

“We have no active business contacts with local Russian firms,” the statement continued.

“Infosys is committed to promoting peace between Ukraine and Russia.”

Infosys has previously worked with Alfa Bank, one of Russia’s largest financial institutions, which was sanctioned by the UK on Thursday after being sanctioned by the EU and the US.

In 2004, Mr Putin paid a visit to Infosys’ Bangalore headquarters, when he was given a tour by Narayana Murthy.

Mr. Sunak met his future wife at Stanford University in California, where he was pursuing an MBA. They got married in 2009 and have two kids together.

Kourtney Spak

Kourtney Spak is an american journalist and political commentator. Her journalism career focuses on American domestic policy and also foreign affairs. She also writes on environment, climate change and economy.