>> Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska
Moscow – Under the pressure of Western sanctions, Russia will soon feel the lack of resources to finance the economy. However, getting investors requires predictability and clear rules of the game, said billionaire Oleg Deripaska, who is considered to be close to the Kremlin. At the economic forum in Krasnoyarsk, according to the Interfax agency, he also called for the rule of law, restrictions on the state apparatus and greater freedom for business.
“Predictability and the rule of law are very important. If we change the rules of the game every year or quarter, no one will trust (Russia), neither Russian businessmen nor foreign ones,” Děripaska said. He also appealed to the authorities to put an end to the slavish imprisonment of businessmen for incomprehensible reasons. It's “like from the Stone Age,” he added.
“If the person in question committed an economic offense and paid the damage, then let him continue to work,” he said. “We cannot choose, the money will run out next year. We will need foreign investors and they are watching how Russian investors earn, what the conditions are. If we do not create them, we will not ensure the attractiveness of our market and we will only dream (about investments),” he declared.
Deripaska also warned that it will not be easy for Russia to establish itself in the new markets of friendly countries, because different rules of the game apply there. And if the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO) do not apply to Russian businessmen, it will be necessary to move to bilateral agreements. At the same time, the pressure of Western sanctions will create serious problems with settlement and money transfers.
The Russian businessman also repeated the idea of halving the number of state officials and members of the security forces. According to Děripaska, they already represent a burden for the economy, which is struggling with the effects of Western sanctions due to the invasion of Russian troops in Ukraine.
“There is too much state apparatus and state capital. We need more freedom,” appealed Děripaska. He had previously been critical of the attack on Ukraine, and sources from the British newspaper Financial Times stated before the end of last year that the Kremlin tried to defend Deripaska from this criticism.