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

Westgate Mall Attack Survivors Confront Painful Memories

On anniversary of terror attack, survivors discuss how they have coped with trauma they experienced that day More

Iraqi Kurdish Leader: Protect Syrian City

Islamic State fighters are besieging Kobani, also known as Ayn al-Arab, after seizing at least 21 surrounding villages in a major assault against city on Syria's northern border with Turkey More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7768
JPY
USD
108.84
GBP
USD
0.6124
CAD
USD
1.0999
INR
USD
61.042

Rates may not be current.