The Kremlin says that includes companies that stayed as well as those planning to return after operations halted amid Ukraine crisis
Foreign companies that remain in Russia or plan to return there despite pressure from Ukraine-related sanctions will be offered favorable terms, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Sunday.
“We take good care of those foreign businessmen who stay [in Russia]. We have great respect and the same attention for these businessmen who, under pressure, are now forced to wait, but who have already said that they will resume their activities here as soon as possible.“, said the official.
Peskov’s comments were made ahead of the 25th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), to be held next week. He said that this year, forum organizers expect fewer Western business representatives than in previous years. However, according to Peskov, their number will be lower not because of their reluctance to work with Russia, but because of political pressure related to the ongoing Russian military operation in Ukraine.
“Yes, there is a decision of individual governments, there is a decision of the European Union as an integration association, there is a directive for all American allies [to cut ties with Russia]. But many business owners from America and Europe are unfortunately forced to wait, but they intend to return to our market at the first opportunity,said Peskov.
The exodus of international companies from Russia began shortly after Moscow launched its military operation in Ukraine in late February. Western countries have responded with sanctions, which have made financial transactions and logistics difficult or even impossible for some companies, while widespread condemnation in the west of Russia’s actions has raised fears among companies working in the country for their public image. According to estimates by the Yale Institute for Senior Leadership, almost half of the 1,345 major international companies represented in the country have either suspended or terminated their operations in the Russian market.
President Vladimir Putin also said recently that Russia would welcome companies that want to return and warned that some companies may regret their decision to leave the Russian market. Peskov reiterated that view, saying that for many companies that have left, it will be harder and more expensive to come back because “the void“created by a company leaving the Russian market”is instantly filled by someone else.”
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