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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

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
0.9211
JPY
USD
119.18
GBP
USD
0.6722
CAD
USD
1.2509
INR
USD
62.518

Rates may not be current.