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

    Wife of IS Leader Charged in Death of US Hostage

    Suspect allegedly admitted to being responsible for American aid worker Kayla Mueller, who officials say was sexually abused and ‘owned’ by one IS member

    Year of the Monkey Could Prove Economic Balancing Act for China

    China is up against a tricky situation on the financial front, facing the need to fight capital flight while also stopping a further slide of foreign currency reserves

    Runners Attempt 26-mile South Pole Marathon in Sub-Zero Temperatures

    How alluring is running 26.2 miles at 10,000 feet when it’s minus 31 Celsius out?

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenyai
    X
    February 08, 2016 4:30 PM
    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video Sanders, Clinton Battle for Young Democratic Vote

    Despite a narrow loss to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in last week's Iowa Democratic caucuses, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders secured more than 80 percent of the vote among those between the ages of 18 and 29. VOA correspondent Aru Pande talks to Democrats in New Hampshire about who they are leaning towards and why in this week's primary.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.

    World Currencies

    EUR
    USD
    0.9008
    JPY
    USD
    116.30
    GBP
    USD
    0.6957
    CAD
    USD
    1.3951
    INR
    USD
    68.033

    Rates may not be current.