Resignations By Foreigners From Russian Boards Of Directors Limiting Kremlin’s Economic Prospects – OpEd


With the exception of a few high-profile cases, few have noticed just the large number of resignations by Westerners from Russian boards of directors as the sanctions regime has deepened, Vadim Sidorov says. But their exit will limit the ability of Russian companies to get loans and sell abroad, limiting further the economic prospects of the country.

Some former Western political leaders who have been named to Russian boards may have been given those jobs because of past or expected future services to the Kremlin, but many of them have been anything but decorative. They have helped these firms get loans and acquire market share, the Prague-based Russian analyst says.

Now, these firms, both officially government-owned and nominally private, will lose along with the departure of these Westerners the kind of loans they had received and the market penetrations they had achieved (

In his article, Sidorov lists several dozen of these departures and suggests that they are likely to be followed out the door by other Westerners who will conclude that maintaining good relations with their own governments is more important than any incomes they may derive from serving on Russian boards.

He does not say, but it follows from his analysis, that the consequence of sanctions may prove to be far more important than many other more direct influences. Sidorov’s article is a model of the kind of record that more countries should be maintaining and of the kind of exit from Russian boards that they should be promoting.

Paul Goble

Paul Goble is a longtime specialist on ethnic and religious questions in Eurasia. Most recently, he was director of research and publications at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy. Earlier, he served as vice dean for the social sciences and humanities at Audentes University in Tallinn and a senior research associate at the EuroCollege of the University of Tartu in Estonia. He has served in various capacities in the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the International Broadcasting Bureau as well as at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Mr. Goble maintains the Window on Eurasia blog and can be contacted directly at [email protected] .

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