Oligarchs want Russia not to cut relations with the West

Russian oligarch criticizes Putin’s plans to seize assets of foreign companies, saying it will take the country back to the turbulent days of the Russian Revolution

By Zahra Tayeb
Mar 12, 2022

One of Russia’s wealthiest oligarchs, Vladimir Potanin, took aim at the Kremlin’s plans to confiscate assets of foreign companies leaving the country.

Multiple outlets reported on the news.

Per CNN, in a message posted on Telegram, Potanin, the president of Norilsk Nickel, the world’s largest producer of palladium and refined nickel, said the move would set Russia back 100 years back to the days of the Russian revolution.

“Firstly, it would take us back a hundred years, to 1917, and the consequences of such a step — global distrust of Russia on the part of investors — we would experience for many decades,” he said in the message.

In a meeting Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the Kremlin is looking for “legal solutions” to take over the foreign assets of international companies that are pulling out of its market, according to the Financial Times.

“With regards to those who are planning to close their production facilities, we must act decisively … By no means must we allow any harm to local Russian suppliers,” said Putin, according to the outlet.

The plans appear to be retaliation against the sweeping sanctions imposed on Russia by the West, following Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Speaking out against the move, Potanin said in the Telegram message: “We should not try to ‘slam the door’ but endeavour to preserve Russia’s economic position in those markets which we spent so long cultivating.”

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He further urged the Russian government to “be wiser” and act with caution regarding the confiscation of foreign assets.

“I understand that in light of the economic restrictions directed against Russia, there may be an understandable desire to act symmetrically,” Potanin said. “But on the example of Western countries, we see that the economies of these countries suffer from the imposition of sanctions against Russia.”

Russia has already begun moves to strike back against Western sanctions, including by banning the export of more than 200 items through the end of this year.

Published at www.businessinsider.com

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