On August 31, 2017, according to reports, Vnesheconombank (VEB) clarified a misunderstanding about a previously made statement that suggested a partnership between itself and the Ethereum Foundation.
According to VEB’s clarification, the bank’s recent agreement is not with the Ethereum Foundation, but with a newly formed entity, Ethereum Russia, created specificly for the partnership. Ethereum Russia was founded by Vitalik Buterin and Vladislav Martynov, CEO of Yota Devices, a Russia-based mobile communication and device connectivity company.
In a statement about the miscommunication, Marytnov said, "We signed, not a partnership, a kind of collaboration agreement ... where we, and when I say we, it's Ethereum Russia, the company which is founded by Vitalik and myself, we provide, we provide specific support, we took a commitment to provide specific support to the bank."
This is not the first mix-up regarding Buterin's activities with Russian officials. As recently as June of this year, a brief meeting between Buterin and Russian president Vladimir Putin was blown out of proportion by media outlets that mistakenly reported Putin as endorsing Ethereum. With respect to that misunderstanding, the Ethereum Foundation explained to ETHNews the reality was although Buterin did meet with Putin for a short time, Buterin spent a majority of his visit speaking to industry leaders and government agencies about Ethereum applications and use cases.
ETHNews will continue to provide any new updates to this story as they develop.