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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Russia – sanctions, war. Oligarch: Kremlin’s money may run out next year

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The Kremlin’s coffers could start emptying next year, says Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska. He also complained that the authorities wanted to reach into the pockets of oligarchs and large corporations. The impasse may help Russia break down investments from what Deripaska puts it, “friendly countries.”

– There will be no more money next year. We will need foreign investors, Deripaska said on Thursday at the Krasnoyarsk Economic Forum in Siberia. He added that due to shrinking resources, officials began to look for other sources of income. “There have already been attempts to extort money from us,” he said.

The Russian oligarch is the founder of United Co Rusal International PJSC, which is the largest producer of aluminum outside China. It is subject to both US and EU sanctions. Even in the first weeks war in Ukraine calling for peace, has adopted a more cautious rhetoric in recent months.

Sanctions and taxes

Bloomberg notes that this is the first such expressive comment by a prominent representative of Russian business about attempts to pressure the Russian authorities. Last year, the country ran a record fiscal deficit. In the beggining of February new sanctions, much more severe than the existing ones, also came into force for Russian petroleum products. Simultaneously Russia still incurs very large expenses related to its aggression against Ukraine.

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“The authorities want to obtain additional funds thanks to changes in the taxation of oil companies. Other producers, however, are to be burdened with a one-off fee” – reports Bloomberg.

Oleg DeripaskaShutterstock

State capitalism ‘not an option’

The Russian billionaire said that state capitalism “is not an option” as Russia’s economic system. He also warned of the serious consequences of the sanctions imposed by the West.

According to the oligarch, the best remedy for Russia’s financial problems would be to attract investment from “friendly countries”. However, he did not mention any specific country. He only added that they should be those with “significant resources”.

“We thought we were a European country,” Deripaska said. “But I think over the next 25 years, we’ll be more emphasizing our Asian heritage,” he said.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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