By Paul Goble
The so-called “Kremlin Report” of the US government even though it has not yet been accompanied by new sanctions is already having a negative impact on Russian companies, according to former Russian finance minister Aleksey Kudrin (interfax.ru/business/599206 and dailystorm.ru/news/kudrin-kremlevskiy-doklad-my-perezhivem-no-on-uzhe-navredil-rossii).
Both the firms and the Russian government have sought to minimize these consequences and were breathing much more easily when sanctions were not imposed at the time the list was issued, the head of the Moscow Center for Strategic Planning says; but more sanctions may come and companies are already facing a different financial situation in dealings with foreign banks.
In support of that view, Vagit Alekperov, the president of LUKOIL, tells Dozhd television that after the report was published, the price of shares in his company declined (tvrain.ru/news/glava_lukojla_dopustil_problemy_s_kreditami_iz_za_kremlevskogo_doklada-457180/ and sobkorr.ru/news/5A7D696F1C28E.html).
And other analysts have suggested that one of the reason companies whose heads are on the list are now in difficulty is that other companies view it as more risky and even potentially dangerous to themselves to maintain any contacts with them (rbc.ru/opinions/politics/09/02/2018/5a7c5e679a79473cb026591c?from=center_6).
It is not clear whether such statements will lead those in Washington opposed to new sanctions to delay even further – it is certainly the case that the Kremlin would be pleased if that were the case – but it is certain that the list, however defective and so far without accompanying sanctions – is having an effect in Russia that members of the elite can feel.
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