Nov 18, 2022
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“Business Sharks”, our “temporarily departed”, are preparing a shock freeze

"Business Sharks", our "temporarily departed", are preparing a shock freeze

Photo: Donat Sorokin/TASS

Businessmen, as well as heads of state corporations, who left the country after the start of a special military operation in Ukraine, may lose the opportunity to dispose of their assets in Russia. The head of the Committee of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation on Economic Policy addressed the federal government with a proposal to apply “shock freeze” measures to the “fugitives” Andrey Kutepov.

In a letter addressed to the Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Grigorenko (in the recently created Coordinating Council under the Cabinet to resolve issues of ensuring the special operation, he is responsible for the legal and financial areas) the senator recalls the arrest of the assets of Russian billionaires in “unfriendly countries” of the West. And he proposes to consider the application of “similar measures” in relation to such persons who left Russia after February 24, and “all the more so” to those who renounced Russian citizenship.

According to Kutepov, first of all, this should affect the owners of large enterprises acquired through privatization, as well as the heads of development institutions or state corporations. Dividends “and other payments” due to these citizens, he considers it necessary to send to a special account “to finance the SVO.” It also proposes that the income from the management of property and assets of the heads of unprofitable development institutions or state corporations who left the Russian Federation should go to the budget in a targeted manner to cover the losses of these organizations.

Transactions with the assets and property of “defectors” and “refuseniks” remaining on the territory of Russia, the senator considers it appropriate to prohibit. And levy a tax of 30-50% of the transaction amount if it was completed after February 24th.

As for the funds of foreign investors from unfriendly countries frozen in the Russian Federation, he proposes to spend them on the repair of the Crimean bridge, roads and communal infrastructure in the special operation zone.

Western countries, as you know, have blocked more than 300 billion dollars of our gold and foreign exchange reserves, and now they are trying to find a legal solution so as not to give them away. Another attempt to “complete the robbery” was the adoption of a draft resolution of the UN General Assembly (GA) on the recovery of reparations from Russia in favor of Ukraine. Only the GA does not have the authority to make such demands, so the document, as the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN said Vasily Nebenzyaturned out to be legally null and void.

However, this does not mean at all that our former Western partners will no longer want to get their hands on Russian assets.

True, in this case, as Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation said in his Telegram channel Dmitry MedvedevRussia will have to withdraw the funds and property of investors from countries that have taken these measures. According to him, such assets in Russia “by a happy coincidence” will be accumulated in the amount of more than $300 billion and this will be enough to compensate for the damage to Russia.

But who can “stay on the beans” at all is the “sharks of business”, for whom, when Russia stood up for the Donbass, abroad suddenly turned out to be nicer than their homeland so much that some began defiantly to refuse Russian citizenship. The hunt for them by the West has already been announced. And everything “hard-earned” on income from business in Russia — castles, villas, yachts, planes, stocks, bank accounts — everything can be out of reach.

“In the context of the actual war of jurisdictions in which the world has plunged, the crisis is subjective in nature — who sets the rules of the game in the global economy and within national contours,” comments the senator Associate Professor of the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation, political scientist Leonid Krutakov. – We conducted privatization through offshore companies, and offshore companies are English case law. Financially, it’s like a closed scheme – gray and black boxes. But they are all governed by Anglo-Saxon law. That is, we have actually transferred property to the Anglo-Saxon legal regime, under Anglo-Saxon jurisdiction.

It’s a ticking time bomb. These are bombs that explode. And an example of this is the claim of the former shareholders of Yukos for $50 billion, which they brought against Russia.

It is clear that the current war is a precedent and a reason for revising all legal norms. Because the freezing of our gold and foreign exchange reserves, the expropriation of the property of Russian companies, this is the destruction of all the rules that existed before. And it was high time for Russia to say: “So, guys, we are stopping all contracts, freezing all exports, all agreements until the revision and development of a new system of guarantees. Because the old guarantee systems don’t work.”

In this model, the West has been freezing and freezing, including current payments for gas. Why were they allegedly converted into rubles? And so that payment goes through Gazprombank, and not through Gazprombank’s accounts in Western banks. This is the only one.

The senator’s proposal is somewhat reminiscent of what Ukraine is doing now, which is actually nationalizing the property of its oligarchs. Because in the conditions of real hostilities – economic, military, as such, in Ukraine – the entire economic complex should work not for the global market and not for profit issues. And on the issues of the domestic market and the provision of military operations. And in this sense, money does not matter at all.

SP: Explain.

“The old financial system is not needed by the new world that will emerge from this global war of jurisdictions that we are seeing today. Therefore, to measure everything in profits, in dividends, it may be both good and right. But as a palliative. Because if you confiscate all the money of Western companies here (which should have been done a long time ago), it is impossible to shoot from them, it is also impossible to eat them, to heat houses – they will quickly burn out.

Consequently, it is necessary to talk about the reorientation of the entire economic complex of the country, to transfer it to new tracks. This is the creation of their own savings systems. Creation of a self-sufficient economy to the maximum, which will ensure, first of all, the security of the state, and at least the minimum and average level of welfare and consumption of the country’s citizens, so that there is no banal hunger. And then we can talk about future investments and the construction of the system and the model that we consider necessary.

That is, a global approach is needed.

“SP”: – In what Senator Kutepov proposes, is this approach not visible?

– All these proposals are still in line with and within the framework of the old rules of the game. They seem to be correct, good and fair. But in reality nothing will change. Although it must be done, of course. And do it yesterday.

We are at war with the collective West – which has been voiced more than once – which means that those who renounced their citizenship and everyone who went there are traitors. Whatever you call them, they really are.

If we have a war with the entire West (hybrid, economic, war of jurisdictions – it doesn’t matter), then these are defectors. And a defector is a traitor.

It has no right to be a player in the domestic market, influencing its stability and development. It’s like putting a CIA officer at the head of the FSB of Russia.

The same is true with the economy. If we believe that the economy is just the movement of money, the formation of profits and reserves, then we will always lose, because this model exists and is based on the dollar.

SP: What is our task then?

“We need to think about a new future, about a new normality, what it will be. After all, it depends on us. Either we will build a new future, or we will accept the new future, which will be developed in Washington and London and presented to the whole world, as a new model. And we will again become its participants.

These are very serious questions. Only the initiative of the senator, no matter how correct it may be, in my opinion, will not solve the problems of the country. She will punish the guilty, deprive them of some means. But if we stay in that system, we’ll get lawsuits from all of our turncoats. And if we still don’t succeed in Ukraine, then reparations in favor of Kyiv, and claims from the Ukrainian oligarchs for damages. We will pay, smile and repent.

Therefore, in this fight, you need to understand that it will not work to return to the old rules of the game. Otherwise, we will be obliged to pay for a very long time, if not indefinitely.

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