Ukraine war:  Russia threatens to nationalise foreign companies

Western businesses leaving Russia due to the war may have their companies and production facilities confiscated by the Russian state, according to Moscow.

Businesses that leave the country are “basically abandoning their staff to their fate,” said former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday.

To prevent people ending up unemployed and on the streets, the Russian government is taking steps to bring about the insolvency and subsequent nationalisation of these companies, the deputy chief of the Russian Security Council said.

On the foundation of the assets left behind by “investors in panic,” new industry would have to be built. This approach is objective and fair,” said Medvedev.

Among the affected are companies from Germany, other EU countries, and the U.S.

There is no law in Russia to nationalise a company’s assets.

But calls are growing among Russian politicians for such a law in reaction to the EU sanctions and it is expected that the Russian parliament will decide on such a process soon.

Many Western companies had only reported that operations are being paused at first, without mentioning full closure or withdrawal.

“Whatever the reasons for moving away, foreign firms should understand that it will not be easy to come back to our markets,” Medvedev said.

Kremlin spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, warned that a nationalisation of Western companies and seizure of their assets could have negative consequences for both sides, as Russsian companies abroad may also have their assets seized.

Proposals are also circulating for the assets of companies in Russia to be handled through fiduciary trusts. 

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