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On withdrawing foreign companies from Russia

02 March 2022

Salikhov Marcel R. President, Principal Director on Economic Studies, Head of the Economic Department

Marcel Salikhov, President of the Institute for Energy and Finance, commented to Lenta.ru on withdrawing foreign companies from Russia.

Some companies, including oil and gas companies, may leave the Russian market due to too high risks associated with the sanctions confrontation between Russia and the West, as well as difficulties in withdrawing income abroad, economist Marcel Salikhov said. At the same time, in a conversation with Lenta.ru, he admitted that oilfield services companies that worked even during the Soviet era would remain.

Who will stay

“First of all, you need to understand that companies make decisions to leave the Russian market on their own, and not on the orders of Western countries. At least officially, the imposed sanctions do not limit their participation in the Russian economy. Companies themselves assess the risks, prospects and public pressure in their countries,” Salikhov stressed.

He pointed to several types of risks that could affect the exit of foreign companies from Russia. First of all, he said, many fear that Russia's retaliatory actions may in one way or another affect the position of foreign companies in the country, especially with regard to strategic sectors of the economy.

“The second type of risk, which, in principle, has already materialized, is related to the presidential decree that companies will not be able to withdraw their funds abroad to parent companies. As a result, the attractiveness of assets drops sharply,” Salikhov said.

The specialist does not expect companies in certain industries to leave the Russian market, but suggests that certain difficulties may arise in the oil and gas industry.
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