News / Economy

Ukraine Strife Complicates Investment Climate in Russia

Ukraine Strife Complicates Investment Climate in Russiai
|| 0:00:00
...  
🔇
X
Jim Randle
March 07, 2014 5:26 PM
Russia’s recent actions in Ukraine shook investors and initially sent stock prices down and gold prices up. One major investor who fled Moscow complains that Russia is already a brutal place to do business. VOA’s Jim Randle reports.
Russia’s recent actions in Ukraine shook investors and initially sent stock prices down and gold prices up.  Investors are also worried about U.S. sanctions and Russian threats to seize foreign assets. 

One expert says any impact on the investment climate may be temporary.  Foreign investors returned to Russia just a few years after the nation defaulted on debt and fought with neighboring Georgia.  One major investor who fled Moscow complains that Russia is already a brutal place to do business.

Russia’s 2008 war with Georgia drew criticism from Western nations and troubled investors.

It was fought over two breakaway regions of Georgia.

War worries investors because it creates uncertainty and greater risk.

Russia’s 1998 default worried investors even more.  Some vowed never to return to the nation that failed to repay billions of dollars in loans.  

But an expert on Ukraine and Russia at the investment advisory firm “Motley Fool,” Rich Smith, says investors eventually go wherever there is money to be made.

“U.S. oil companies were still investing in Russia, U.S. consumer goods companies were still selling things into Russia," he said. "People have short memories, big things happen in Russia and they look very big in the short term, but then things get back to normal."

The founder of Hermitage Capital Management, William Browder, once had huge investments in Russia. He now says Russia’s investment climate is terrible.  

“The rule of law doesn’t exist there, your property rights, completely non-existent," he said. "You could easily lose a lot of money before any of this stuff [the conflict with Ukraine] started happening."

Browder says his attorney Sergei Magnitsky, was beaten in prison and died there.  Magnitsky had accused Russian police of corruption.

According to Browder, corrupt officials retaliated by accusing Magnitsky and Browder of millions of dollars in tax fraud.   

The case prompted Moscow to end U.S. adoptions of Russian orphans in retaliation for Washington imposing financial sanctions on Russian officials.

Browder, now in London, says corruption is widespread in Russia.  He still faces a lawsuit and death threats from Moscow.

“Will the government create such a hostile environment for business, for geopolitics, for people that is it impossible to go there and do business," he said. "And the way it’s going right now, that could easily happen."

In the meantime, tensions over Ukraine are making the investment climate in Russia more complex and difficult.  

Washington is imposing new visa restrictions and financial sanctions on Russians and others it says threaten Ukraine.

The European Union has frozen the assets of some former Ukrainian officials, while at the same time offering the country billions of dollars in aid.

You May Like

Missouri Town Braces for Possible Racial Unrest

Situation in Ferguson hinges on whether white police officer will be indicted for August shooting death of unarmed black teen; decision could come Monday More

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of 1930s Deadly Famine

President Poroshenko compares Soviet-era ‘genocide’ to current tactics of pro-Russia rebels in Ukraine's east More

S. Philippines Convictions Elusive 5 Years After Election-related Killings

Officials vowed to deliver justice as the nation marked the anniversary of the country's worst political massacre that left 58 dead, more than half media More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Faminei
X
Daniel Schearf
November 23, 2014 4:32 PM
During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video Law Enforcement, Activists in Ferguson Agree to Keep Peace

Authorities in Ferguson, Missouri, say they have agreed with protest leaders to maintain peace when a grand jury reaches its decision on whether to indict a white police officer in the shooting death of a black teenager. Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, has been the scene of intermittent violence since the August 9 shooting intensified long-simmering antagonism between the police and the African-American community. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8050
JPY
USD
117.90
GBP
USD
0.6376
CAD
USD
1.1259
INR
USD
61.655

Rates may not be current.