Russia gets tough after EU probe
Russia has tightened its oversight of “strategic” domestic companies operating abroad, such as Gazprom, requiring them to seek approval to disclose information to foreign regulators, alter contracts or sell property abroad.
The move follows the state-controlled gas export monopoly’s warning to the European Commission that an EU investigation of its business in Europe affected the interests of a strategic Russian company.
President Vladimir Putin yesterday signed the decree, which covers foreign subsidiaries of Russian companies defined by the government as strategic.
“The decree establishes the obligation of a federal executive body to refuse permission to conduct the aforementioned activities if they are capable of damaging the economic interests of the Russian Federation,” said the text of the decree, distributed by the Kremlin.
While the decree will help the state to support Gazprom in the EU investigation, it will enable it to tighten its grip on the company – a key taxpayer – as well as on other state-run companies.
Mr Putin had ruled out a trade war over the EC’s anti-trust investigation.
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