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Whole life with an eye on Malta

Вся жизнь с оглядкой на Мальту

Just as a business cannot influence the course of foreign policy, the Kremlin is not able to achieve complete “de-offshoring of the elites,” experts say.

Official portal of the government of Malta has published information according to which citizenship of the island nation, member of the European Union, have 730 Russian entrepreneurs and some former high officials.
Show more… In this regard, the observer of “Rosbalt” asked experts to answer the question of whether in light of this information, to talk about the failure of more than one year declareroles policy of “de-offshorization” of the Russian elite?

The opinions of the experts diverged, however all of them believe that a full de-offshorization in a market economy impossible, and therefore, in terms of Western sanctions, the Russian capital will continue to live “on two sides”.

The President of Fund “the Center of political technologies” Igor Bunin recalled that Russian entrepreneurs have long been settled not only in Malta but in all countries of the world. He says that initially, in 1990-e years, Russian business representatives traveled to different countries in the world, because “he feared that he would return the Soviet Union and, therefore, at the outset began to build refuge”.

“Then they had a desire to live in a comfortable society. Another reason is the natural process of internationalization, which goes in all countries of the world where the border between the States indicated by less and less, and for big business it does not exist”, — said the expert.

The analyst noted that at the beginning of his reign, Vladimir Putin has encouraged these processes, but then, “when we gradually began to turn into a rogue and abroad, especially officials became a crime, businessmen still believed that they have a moral right to arrange for your money your life, your family and your business in the West.”

Bunin believes that Russian businesses are scared of those trends that began to emerge in Russian politics in 2014. According to him, the majority of the representatives of domestic business live “on two sides — in the West and in Russia.” He believes that “it is natural”.

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“On the other hand, continues Bunin — if entrepreneurs have to be confident that their business will not be captured, why not come back? However, as the US continues to put pressure on the Russian economy, many are afraid to be the sanctions list and try to avoid too much convergence with the military-industrial complex of the Russian Federation”. At the same time, said the analyst, the Russian government “cannot take down all the large and medium-sized businesses. If it does, it will cease to function in the economy.”

Professor at the Higher school of economy Nikolai Petrov believes that information about “Maltese passports”, which now appeared, “looks like a denunciation of someone.” He did not agree with the view that the offshore system has failed. “The task set by the Kremlin, was not that all lived in Russia at the camp, but to completely control people, including businessmen, so that they in the event that does not fall under any High Court in London, and would be in the jurisdiction of our courts, which is an instrument of control,” — said the expert. In his opinion, “in a sense, this task is done”.

The fact that Russian businessmen and retired politicians as the “alternate airfields” buy their residence permits and citizenship in different EU countries, is not something abnormal, he said. He does not exclude that someone from the businessmen at the Kremlin may be some agreement, part of which may be able to have dual citizenship and keep some of their capital abroad.

Moreover, Petrov continued, “we see that the Kremlin itself softens the situation of people who can get into the sanctions list, many conditions that do not necessarily lead to the leakage of this information all West Supervisory authority”. Such arrangements have been concluded by the Kremlin with the business and not only in the interests of the latter, but the Russian authorities, since “to plant all over the wall” is not the best for it. “Here to make everyone dependent — it is the Kremlin and need, and this policy, which is in 2012, has made great progress,” — said Petrov.

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Political analyst Alexei Makarkin believes that the Kremlin understands that if you prohibit dual citizenship and try to mobilize the business, “he will flee, and the state will remain with a non-elastic, administrative economy, and what is already given, we know.”

“Business comes from its rational arguments, which in this case is very simple — you need to diversify, because the situation is uncertain and this uncertainty is increasing. Business and other elites can’t influence take foreign policy and military decisions that are not in a position to influence even the officials are really responsible for the economy,” — said the expert.

In such a situation, he says, “businesses are seeking different alternate aerodromes, receiving for himself and his family a second citizenship in case the business climate in Russia does go bad. If we go somewhere else to fight more extensive than now, the business is gone (from the country)”.

Makarkin noted that the Russian businessmen are insured not only by the acquisition of the second citizenship, but also by buying foreign assets, as well as “minimizing their relations with the state structures that may fall or have fallen under (Western) sanctions, as it did recently “Alfa-Bank” have decided to abstain from servicing the accounts of enterprises of the Russian defense industry, at least as long as there is a risk to fall under sanctions.”

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