News / Economy

Some Multi-National Companies Ignoring Western Sanctions Against Russia

Some Multi-National Companies Ignoring Western Sanctions Against Russiai
X
Mil Arcega
April 21, 2014 9:29 PM
Western sanctions are hurting Russia’s economy. That’s according to the country’s economic minister, who says Russia’s economic output is shrinking as investors take their money elsewhere. But some western companies are bucking that trend -- expanding business interests in Russia - even as the U.S. and European allies consider wider sanctions to punish Moscow for annexing Crimea and destabilizing eastern Ukraine. Mil Arcega reports.
Western sanctions are hurting Russia’s economy.  That’s according to the country’s economic minister, who says Russia’s economic output is shrinking as investors take their money elsewhere.  But some western companies are bucking that trend - expanding business interests in Russia - even as the U.S. and European allies consider wider sanctions to punish Moscow for annexing Crimea and destabilizing eastern Ukraine.  

He remains a unifying figure among Russian patriots, but analysts say President Vladimir Putin’s popularity could sour if the economy continues to deteriorate.

Speaking to Russian lawmakers, Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said worried investors have already pulled more than $70 billion out of the country.

“We also have a high level of uncertainty in the global financial markets, serious capital flight, the situation when investors are not ready to make investment decisions in the tense international situation we’ve had for the past two months.  The economic situation is not stable," said Ulyukayev.

Russian stocks have lost more than ten percent since the start of the Ukraine crisis - and the ruble sits close to a five-year low against the dollar.

But even as Europe threatens wider sanctions - not all investors are prepared to abandon Russia.

At a recent meeting with Putin, Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben Van Beurden announced the company's commitment to expand its operations in Russia.

“This is a special occasion for me to visit because indeed today is our 20th anniversary of the partnership that we have in Sakhalin Energy, a partnership that we are exceptionally proud of," said Van Beurden.

It’s no surprise to investment analyst Ben Kumar who says Shell is not the only multi-national with entrenched business interests in Russia’s economy.

“You have this globalization now which means that everyone is linked to everyone else.  Companies like BP - all of the other major energy companies - are so multi-national that if you start to threaten to shut down trade links they will kick up a fuss," said Kumar.

Reuters' European editor Pierre Brancon says Western powers must be careful not to push the Russian bear to hard.

“You don’t wage economic war without inflicting suffering on yourself - we know that European companies are going to suffer if they go to full-blown sanctions," said Brancon.

That’s because Russia produces a third of the natural gas Europe needs, much of it transported through Ukrainian pipelines.  

Diplomatically, it’s a delicate balancing act, one with the potential to provoke a trade war, and higher energy prices around the world.

You May Like

Tunnel Bombs Highlight Savagery of Aleppo Fight

Rebels have used tunneling tactic near government buildings, command posts or supply routes to set off explosives; they detonated their largest bomb this week under Syria's intelligence headquarters More

Sierra Leone Launches New Initiative to Stop Ebola Spread

Government hopes Infection and Prevention Control Units, IPC, will help protect patients and healthcare workers More

UN Official: Fight Against Terrorism Must Not Violate Human Rights

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says efforts by states to combat terrorism are resulting in large scale rights violations against the very citizens they claim to defend More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boyi
X
Jeff Seldin
March 05, 2015 2:36 AM
A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960s Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8954
JPY
USD
119.75
GBP
USD
0.6515
CAD
USD
1.2518
INR
USD
61.921

Rates may not be current.