During a press briefing on Tuesday, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov stated that Western companies wishing to exit the Russian market will have to adhere to the divestment rules set by the Russian government. While Moscow will not ban foreign divestments, it will insist on compliance with its regulations.
Peskov explained that due to the ongoing quasi-war between Russia and the collective West, a special regime applies to Western companies leaving under pressure from their governments. These companies will only be able to divest once they obtain permission from a specially designated government commission.
He emphasized that a free and unhindered exit is currently not possible, and the divestment process is strictly regulated by the commission. Peskov also highlighted that Russia remains open to foreign investment and is interested in cooperating with foreign businesses while creating favorable conditions for them to operate.
He further mentioned that many Western firms still operate in Russia and are quite profitable. He clarified that Russia does not need to force any company to stay and that if some businesses leave, others from different countries often show increased interest and occupy the vacated niches.
The presence of global firms in the Russian market has been reevaluated by many companies under pressure from their governments due to sanctions imposed on Moscow over the Ukraine conflict. However, according to KSE’s recent data, which tracks approximately 3,000 foreign companies operating in Russia before March 2022, only a small number, less than 300, have actually exited the market.
Existing laws that regulate divestment procedures require firms leaving Russia to sell their Russian assets at a 50% discount. They also need to obtain government permission for the sale and make a mandatory contribution to the Russian budget, which amounts to at least 10% of half the market value of the company’s assets in the country.
These regulations ensure that foreign companies comply with the established procedures and contribute to the Russian economy even upon their exit.
In conclusion, Western companies wishing to leave the Russian market must follow the divestment rules set by the Russian government. While Russia remains open to foreign investment and aims to create favorable conditions for businesses, it maintains strict regulations for divestment. The country emphasizes that it is not forcing any company to stay, and others often show increased interest in occupying the vacated niches. The laws governing divestment procedures aim to ensure compliance and contribute to the Russian economy.