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17 Apr, 2009 16:34

Tycoon asks to be removed from Forbes list

To make it onto the Forbes rich list may sound like a dream come true for many, but for one Russian tycoon the ranking is a hindrance.

Former State Duma Deputy, Aleksandr Lebedev has asked to be removed from the Forbes list of Russia's richest people.

But the magazine has refused do so, insisting that they have correctly estimated his wealth.

"We take wishes into consideration, but our calculations are fair," Forbes deputy editor-in-chief Nikolai Mazurin told the Russian News Service. "If Alexander Yevgenyevich thinks he has little money, let him present his bank and business reports and confirm that he is poor."

Lebedev is bidding to run for mayor of Sochi, the city which will host 2014 Olympics. It has sparked speculation that he may think the image of a billionaire may harm his election chances.

"Lebedev has been actively involved in politics. Until recently he had been a mayoral candidate in Sochi. That may be the reason for his unwillingness to be on the list of the richest businessmen in Russia. Yet, in our opinion, he is still on the Top 100," Mazurin said.

According to Forbes, the global financial crisis has meant that the number of Russian billionaires is now three times smaller than last year.

The latest Forbes report reveals that the overall wealth of the richest Russians stood at $142 billion in 2009, which was $380 billion less than a year before. Onexim Group President Mikhail Prokhorov tops the list with $9.5 billion.