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    Russian Economy General News: #12

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    ALAMO

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    Post  ALAMO Thu Aug 05, 2021 8:16 am

    Would not call my stand as much optimistic one Laughing
    We are a target of massive anglo-saxon propaganda, that twists reality really hard.
    But the world is not anglo-saxon.
    Never been.
    If you will consider the reality from perspective, leaving the clickbait fat font headings, things look much more normal.
    I still remember 2003, when there was a serious discussion about the open market from Lisbon to Vladivostok.
    A common voice of Europe and Russia towards US aggression on Iraq.
    This is the best example, how fast things can be changed.
    Sure, it did not happen overnight and required billions of CIA laundered money to be pumped into dividing Europe.
    New member states acting as a Troyan horse, migrant crisis ...
    But Europe is obviously awakening, and what is even more interesting, it is being done quietly.
    Covid is reshaping the world we know. And it will be even faster than a CIA-sponsored operation.

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    Arrow

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    Post  Arrow Thu Aug 05, 2021 9:03 am

    Russian oil ang gas and others natural resources exports currently account for just over 50% of total exports. Of course, some argue that without the export of natural resources , Russian exports are at the level of much smaller countries. You have to take into account that many goods are highly processed products for the domestic market. He is very receptive to this sanction. Thanks to this, they have very low imports.
    Russian_Patriot_
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    Post  Russian_Patriot_ Thu Aug 05, 2021 2:30 pm

    Russia will start tracking cryptocurrency transactions. 

    Rosfinmonitoring has ordered the creation of a module for monitoring cryptocurrency transactions. One of its tasks is to analyze the behavior of market participants in order to identify them. The work will be performed by a structure controlled by Sber. 

    The Federal Financial Monitoring Service (Rosfinmonitoring), which performs financial intelligence functions in Russia, has chosen a contractor for "work on creating a module for monitoring and analyzing cryptocurrency transactions using bitcoin." This is evidenced by the data of the public procurement website. The contract went to RCO, which offered to perform the work for 14.7 million rubles. According to SPARK, Rambler Internet Holding LLC, which is owned by Sber through a chain of companies, has control in the RCO.

    The development of a module for monitoring and analyzing cryptocurrency transactions using bitcoin is designed to solve the following tasks, according to the documentation.:

    Tracking the movement chain of digital financial assets;

    Maintaining a database of cryptocurrency wallets related to illegal activities and terrorist financing;

    Monitoring the behavior of participants in the cryptocurrency market in order to identify them, compiling profiles of participants and assessing their role in economic activities, as well as identifying the likelihood of their participation in illegal activities.

    Back in August last year, Rosfinmonitoring proposed to include in the federal project "Artificial Intelligence" the system "Transparent blockchain" - analytics of cryptocurrency transactions using artificial intelligence. By that time, a prototype of the system had been developed and tested in the field of countering drug trafficking. In February of this year, the head of Rosfinmonitoring, Yuri Chikhanchin, said at a meeting with President Vladimir Putin: that the "Transparent blockchain" will allow the agency to " see all movements with cryptocurrency, that is, attempts to hide behind cryptocurrency." "We have developed a digital service that allows us to analyze crypto transactions. This will give us the opportunity to track these transactions in cryptocurrency, and most importantly, we are now working out signs and criteria that in the general flow of transactions could show us where there is a crime, there are already criminal cases" – Chikhanchin said.

    Representatives of Rosfinmonitoring declined to comment on the "Transparent Blockchain" and disclose details of the project.

    Source: 

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    miketheterrible
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    Post  miketheterrible Thu Aug 05, 2021 3:59 pm

    Russia is doing the smart thing with crypto. Allowing it, but controlling not the blockchain, but the exchanges. This is something most of us in crypto are willing to accept. Only criminals like Navalny would be against

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    GarryB
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    Post  GarryB Fri Aug 06, 2021 7:53 am

    What did WW1 start from, if not from competition.
    We probably won't see a global conventional war like that one again, but for sure there will be all sorts of tricks in play.

    WWI started because two big power bases existed that were largely balanced and were supposed to keep the peace because each side acted as a deterrent to the other side so a world war could not possibly happen... explains Cpt Blackadder sitting in a bunker in the front lines in France of WWI. To which Baldrick replies... but Captain Blackadder... this is a sort of war isn't it? To which replied Blackadder, yes... the whole problem with the concept is that it is complete bollocks.

    Blackadder goes forth is probably more educational than all the bullshit Shakespeare crap I never understood at high school.

    Within the comedy he could be honest... especially the parts where the explanation for the war is the imperial ambitions of the dirty hun... to which Blackadder correctly responds that the British empire spans the globe and the German empire is a little place in Tangeniki. (sp).

    Russian oil ang gas and others natural resources exports currently account for just over 50% of total exports. Of course, some argue that without the export of natural resources , Russian exports are at the level of much smaller countries. You have to take into account that many goods are highly processed products for the domestic market. He is very receptive to this sanction. Thanks to this, they have very low imports.

    Whether the claims of Russia being a third world gas station that makes nothing holds up or not is proven to be wrong when you mention low imports.

    If they are not importing anything then why are they building bridges and roads and airfields and expanding the far east and far north and introducing new electric vehicles and hypersonic weapons, not to mention their second and soon third 5th gen fighters... four if you count Su-57, Su-75, and the Single and Twin engine models from MiG for land and carrier based operations...

    That alone proves they are not a third world anything, and if they were only a gas station they would not produce most of their own stuff leading to low import levels... they are probably more self sufficient than any other country on the planet with China their only real rival on that score simply because western outsourcing has made them the production centre of the planet.

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    Post  kvs Fri Aug 06, 2021 3:29 pm

    Ah the export profile proving Russia is a banana republic canard. Hilarious BS.

    This is an example of western schizophrenia. They talk about comparative advantage in trade, but then turn around and claim that exporting comparatively
    advantageous goods is a sign of economic problems. Which is it, you stupid fcuks.

    As Garry points out, the only real metric is the import profile. If Russia was a banana republic it would be importing basically every piece of tech and even
    associated services. But in the real world, Russia produces the tech and tech services that it consumes.

    I have seen many inane posts on this forum that are made by people who are utterly clueless about science and technology. Russia replaced the
    Banderastan marine turbine engines with superior models in a few years. If this was such a trivial task then any 3rd world country could do it. There
    would not be any 3rd world countries because all it would take to launch high value added production is to stick and finger in the nose and pull out some
    goobers. Russia is launching production of power generation turbines that replace imports from Germany and the USA in that particular power class.
    But I am sure that some genius will chime in that Russia does not make its own cell phones. Because the ones in NATzO are apparently not made
    in China.

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    ALAMO

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    Post  ALAMO Fri Aug 06, 2021 3:48 pm

    This bullshit is just another stick used to hit Russia's back.
    Economic power like Australia exports iron ore.
    It forms 15+% of overall export, and if one adds all the raw materials, it would be 50% of its export structure.
    Ever heard of "scrapyard with sheeps" label attached to them?
    Nah, me neither dunno
    For Norway, 50% of the export structure are mineral fuels, and if you add other raw materials, it ends up on 60%.
    Not very often you can hear "gas station with depressed alcoholics suiciders" applied to them, yeah?
    For Scotland, buzz makes 17% of the export. How should we call it? "A drunkyard in the north"?
    Who cares about the idiocies applied as a part of the agenda? Let them choke with their own vomits.

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    Post  par far Fri Aug 06, 2021 3:55 pm

    "Europe’s carbon tax could cost Russia nearly $12 billion by 2030"

    https://www.rt.com/business/531284-europes-carbon-tax-cost-russia/


    Russia should tell the EU to go get fucked by the immigrants.

    This is really pissing me off, someone with better understanding please explain if doing business with the EU will be profitable for Russia?

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    Post  kvs Fri Aug 06, 2021 7:29 pm

    par far wrote:"Europe’s carbon tax could cost Russia nearly $12 billion by 2030"

    https://www.rt.com/business/531284-europes-carbon-tax-cost-russia/


    Russia should tell the EU to go get fucked by the immigrants.

    This is really pissing me off, someone with better understanding please explain if doing business with the EU will be profitable for Russia?

    This should be a wake up call to all the U-rope-philes in Russia who think that the future of Russia is in Europe like the morons in Banderastan.
    NATzO is trying to impose a new economic yoke on the world in the name of saving the planet from global warming. Of course little details such
    as the fact that the US generates 80% of its electricity from fossil fuels is not a consideration. The same BS is being attempted as a ploy to
    disrupt Russia's development of its Arctic zone and establish the North Sea Route by claiming that dirty Russian ships are killing polar bears.
    Russia is actually the only country deploying LNG powered tankers and other ships in the Arctic so these claims are all the usual blood libel
    propaganda.

    NATzO always claims moral authority by trotting out polar bears, transexuals, pedophiles and whatnot. So sad that so many people fall for
    this BS.

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    lyle6
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    Post  lyle6 Fri Aug 06, 2021 8:56 pm

    par far wrote:"Europe’s carbon tax could cost Russia nearly $12 billion by 2030"

    https://www.rt.com/business/531284-europes-carbon-tax-cost-russia/


    Russia should tell the EU to go get fucked by the immigrants.

    This is really pissing me off, someone with better understanding please explain if doing business with the EU will be profitable for Russia?
    They should be paying Russia that amount at least considering Russia has more acreage dedicated to carbon sink forestry than all of Europe combined, several times over.

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    ALAMO

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    Post  ALAMO Sat Aug 07, 2021 12:09 am

    Jesus Fuckin* Christ ...
    Are you insane or something?
    EU regulated the import of goods with a CO2 emission footprint.
    As part of the general agenda to decrease it by 55% till 2030.
    As easy as that.
    Produce wisely, or pay.
    B 2035, there will be no gasoline/diesel cars produced in the EU.
    Sure it will cost to upgrade to this new standard, but hey ... You can still export to India, right? They care shit about the matter, dead bodies are flowing along the Ganges 24/7/365. Fishes like that.
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    Post  flamming_python Sat Aug 07, 2021 12:40 am

    Russia immensely benefits from the Kyoto convention and others

    This is because they fixed their start year for an index of carbon emissions to 1990

    Given that, Russia is not only the only major industrial economy that has actually already reached its carbon cut-down targets, but that actually has less today than it did 31 years ago

    The reason is obvious of course, a hard decade of de-industrialization. But the reason doesn't matter, what matters is that Russia is less handicapped than everyone else have signed themselves up to be

    As such Russia is not complaining much about the EU's carbon taxes on imports. It's companies are simply environmentalizing and modernizing to comply, and going with the program so to speak. Rosatom is investing massively in wind power. Hevel, another Russian company, has been driving the growth of solar power in Russia. And other companies are taking part in exporting environmentally-friendly goods including to Europe.

    There are plans to produce hydrogen and export it to Europe. It's own plans call for developing the electric car industry, while moving gasoline or compressed natural gas based public transportation to work on electricity or LNG. There is even a prototype of an LNG train.

    And if the forests ever get included into all the carbon credits and so on currently being developed in the world, then Russia stands to win majorly from that as well.

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    Scorpius
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    Post  Scorpius Sat Aug 07, 2021 2:55 am

    Psst, there is not only Hevel in Russia. Hevel is simply most hyped company, but in reality there are much more of them, including those who compete with Hevel for the solar energy market in Russia.

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    x_54_u43
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    Post  x_54_u43 Sat Aug 07, 2021 8:26 pm

    flamming_python wrote:5% growth this year, 4% next year, and an average of 4% for the rest of the decade

    That's what Russia needs. And if the govt doesn't fulfill that, then they're lame. They have everything they need. Only worry is rising inflation and the possibility of the economy overheating - for the later they have only themselves to blame with their draconian limits and impositions on migrants throughout the pandemic.

    As it is, oil/gas prices have shot up, the service sector has recovered, and there are tons of investments into industry and infrastructure. After falling 3% last year; by all rights they should reach 5% this year.

    Agreed, they really should strive for even higher rates of growth, and really let loose with the NWF and finding additional sources of revenue and such. If they could maintain higher rates of growth, even such as this year's 4.4 percent, then they could double the economy's size in just 15 years.

    I'm pretty eagerly looking forward to the results of the National Projects, my only regret is that they didn't start sooner with a better starting point. First it was the 2008 crisis, then 2014, then Corona, major crises happening every time Russia embarks on overall modernization and expansion, hopefully they are in the free and clear now.

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    flamming_python
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    Post  flamming_python Sat Aug 07, 2021 8:32 pm

    x_54_u43 wrote:
    flamming_python wrote:5% growth this year, 4% next year, and an average of 4% for the rest of the decade

    That's what Russia needs. And if the govt doesn't fulfill that, then they're lame. They have everything they need. Only worry is rising inflation and the possibility of the economy overheating - for the later they have only themselves to blame with their draconian limits and impositions on migrants throughout the pandemic.

    As it is, oil/gas prices have shot up, the service sector has recovered, and there are tons of investments into industry and infrastructure. After falling 3% last year; by all rights they should reach 5% this year.

    Agreed, they really should strive for even higher rates of growth, and really let loose with the NWF and finding additional sources of revenue and such. If they could maintain higher rates of growth, even such as this year's 4.4 percent, then they could double the economy's size in just 15 years.

    I'm pretty eagerly looking forward to the results of the National Projects, my only regret is that they didn't start sooner with a better starting point. First it was the 2008 crisis, then 2014, then Corona, major crises happening every time Russia embarks on overall modernization and expansion, hopefully they are in the free and clear now.

    They had something like the national projects back in the late 2000s. But they didn't achieve much

    Overall Russia was still too corrupt with too many systemic problems, and the elites were also too complacent until 2014

    So we get what we get. But despite the low levels of economic growth over the last 10 years, it's still clear that Russia is a different country compared to 2011. The laws work better, the various administrative organs work better, the logistics are more developed, higher education has been reformed, lots of investment into sport infrastructure, the military has been modernized and overhauled, small towns and villages are now far from always dens of unemployment and alcoholism, better developed social benefits, crime and premature death has fallen by a lot, cities are prettier and more modern, the roads are a lot better, public transport has been invested into, and of course all the import substitution - in general it's a more civilized country where people live better.
    Now all that's left to do is achieve high economic growth.

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    GarryB
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    Post  GarryB Sun Aug 08, 2021 7:04 am

    Economic growth is overrated, raising living standards is a better goal, lifting people out of poverty and making essentials affordable for everyone is a much better goal.

    Rather than minimum wage increases I think a wage ratio is a better plan because most companies in the west suffer from the top people getting too much as well as perks that mean they don't even spend money most of the time, while those at the bottom scramble for everything.

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    miketheterrible
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    Post  miketheterrible Sun Aug 08, 2021 8:51 am

    GarryB wrote:Economic growth is overrated, raising living standards is a better goal, lifting people out of poverty and making essentials affordable for everyone is a much better goal.

    Rather than minimum wage increases I think a wage ratio is a better plan because most companies in the west suffer from the top people getting too much as well as perks that mean they don't even spend money most of the time, while those at the bottom scramble for everything.

    As I agree with you, we need to remember something. A saying I was always told is "if you get something for nothing, you won't appreciate it."

    The issue with Russia and we'll, every country is that people believe western lies and news. I am always told by immigrants here that "it looked and felt so much better on TV than now. I just look at them like they are retarded and ask "what education you got again?". Someone smart would realise that Media lies.

    Anyway, raising their living standards is nice and all but how? How would you do it without creating indlation? How would you prevent total market crash with providing everything for everyone? And in the end, no one will appreciate it and destroy their own country because the west told them in some stupid YouTube channel of so called "specialists and intellects" said so. Russia is doing shit load for its people and people still bitch.

    Anyway, it's all pointless. The key option is to keep the people. Busy. And when they are busy, they won't revolt or do such stuff if they are fed and entertained.
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    Post  limb Sun Aug 08, 2021 3:37 pm

    flamming_python wrote:Russia immensely benefits from the Kyoto convention and others

    This is because they fixed their start year for an index of carbon emissions to 1990

    Given that, Russia is not only the only major industrial economy that has actually already reached its carbon cut-down targets, but that actually has less today than it did 31 years ago

    The reason is obvious of course, a hard decade of de-industrialization. But the reason doesn't matter, what matters is that Russia is less handicapped than everyone else have signed themselves up to be

    As such Russia is not complaining much about the EU's carbon taxes on imports. It's companies are simply environmentalizing and modernizing to comply, and going with the program so to speak. Rosatom is investing massively in wind power. Hevel, another Russian company, has been driving the growth of solar power in Russia. And other companies are taking part in exporting environmentally-friendly goods including to Europe.

    There are plans to produce hydrogen and export it to Europe. It's own plans call for developing the electric car industry, while moving gasoline or compressed natural gas based public transportation to work on electricity or LNG. There is even a prototype of an LNG train.

    And if the forests ever get included into all the carbon credits and so on currently being developed in the world, then Russia stands to win majorly from that as well.

    Also preventing the melting of Siberia permafrost would be nice as not to uncontrollably release massive amounts of methane that would lead to fires, poisoning of humans and wildlife, ecosystem collapse, and property destruction. Also potential russian allies benefit from reducing global warming while the US and Europe would have milder economic disasters.
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    Post  flamming_python Mon Aug 09, 2021 3:06 am

    I remember this guy. American investor. When they put him on trail he was talking about how he has full confidence in the Russian courts and that they would give him a fair verdict Laughing



    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/06/world/europe/russia-american-investor-calvey-sentence.html
    Russia Doesn’t Send U.S. Investor to Jail but Still Sends a Warning

    Michael Calvey had long championed investing in Russia. His conviction on embezzlement charges alarmed business leaders, even if his sentence spared him prison.

    Michael Calvey, an American businessman working in Russia who had been convicted on embezzlement charges, maintained he was innocent and called the conviction “simply outrageous” after he was given a suspended sentence of five and a half years.

    The judge today simply repeated word for word, the text from the prosecutor’s case from October 2020, which itself repeated word for word, the text from the investigators, preliminary accusation from December 2019, there were literally hundreds of pieces of evidence that we submitted in court proving that my colleagues and I acted entirely legally and in the interests of our statutory body. The absence of any crime was confirmed also by all of the witnesses who testified in court, including even the witnesses for the prosecution, as the prosecutor himself admitted. We’ve always been realistic and pragmatic about the history and statistics of sentencing here. Compared to most cases, receiving a suspended sentence is already almost a victory. But on the other hand, it’s simply outrageous to be convicted of a crime that never happened.

    Michael Calvey, an American businessman working in Russia who had been convicted on embezzlement charges, maintained he was innocent and called the conviction “simply outrageous” after he was given a suspended sentence of five and a half years.

    By Andrew E. Kramer
    Aug. 6, 2021

    MOSCOW — A Russian court sentenced on Friday an American businessman who is one of the country’s most prominent foreign investors to a suspended sentence of five-and-a-half years in a penal colony for a conviction on embezzlement charges, in a ruling that could hurt Russia’s ability to attract foreign investment.

    The suspended sentence for the businessman, Michael Calvey, the founder of Baring Vostok, a private equity firm with $3.7 billion under management, means he will not spend time in Russia’s notoriously harsh penal colony system, the successor to the gulag camps, unless he violates parole conditions.

    But the threat of prison that still hangs over Mr. Calvey, and his six co-defendants in the case, was expected nonetheless to put a damper on foreign interest in doing business in Russia, where foreign direct investment is already complicated by weak property rights and Western sanctions.

    The sentence was seen as all the more concerning to business leaders because Mr. Calvey had consistently championed investment in Russia despite worsening relations with the West, even as many companies retreated from the country.

    Mr. Calvey, 53, founded Baring Vostok in the 1990s, soon after the collapse of communism, with the aim of bringing investors into Russia’s newly capitalist economy. Over its 27 years in business, the company attracted billions of dollars in private equity capital for Russian companies like Yandex, a search engine that competes locally with Google, and Ozon, an online retailer.

    The co-defendants, including Philippe Delpal, a French national and executive at Baring Vostok, were handed similar suspended sentences in the Russian prison system.

    The case sprang from a business dispute with shareholders of a Siberian bank.

    Prosecutors said Mr. Calvey and other executives at his fund embezzled 2.5 billion rubles (about $34 million) by persuading shareholders of the bank, Vostochny Bank, to accept a stake in another company at an inflated price.

    In his defense, Mr. Calvey argued that the bank shareholders had full access to information about the value of the shares when they accepted them in lieu of repayment for a loan and moreover that the case should have been decided by commercial arbitration.

    “I came to Russia and remained here because I loved this country from the start and believed that Russia has potential to become one of the world’s leading investment markets,” Mr. Calvey said in a closing statement at his trial last month.

    “I convinced investors to share my trust in the future of Russia,” he said. “Even after 2014, when the geopolitical climate worsened and sanctions were imposed on Russia, I continued to defend the image of Russia as an attractive country for work and investment.”

    Mr. Calvey’s push for investment continued despite two decades of government takeovers of companies, ruble devaluations and politically hued arrests, including that of Sergei L. Magnitsky, who died in pretrial detention and had been working as a lawyer for another prominent foreign investor, William F. Browder.

    Russia’s onetime richest man, Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky, the founder of an oil company, was twice convicted and sentenced to lengthy terms in the penal colonies.

    Conditions there are harsh. In one prison, Mr. Khodorkovsky was stabbed in the face with a homemade knife. The warden said another inmate was fending off an unwanted sexual advance, something Mr. Khodorkovsky denied.

    Mr. Calvey’s investment firm had focused on internet and retail start-ups that were benefiting from the wealth generated by the petroleum industry and finding success serving the country’s emerging middle class.

    The arrest and detention of Mr. Calvey and his colleagues in 2019 prompted fears that the executives of other American companies might be similarly arrested in a climate of tense relations with the United States. The seven executives were convicted in a Russian court Thursday and their sentences delivered Friday.

    Even in detention, Mr. Calvey continued to speak out in favor of the investment case for Russia, reading statements to that effect at hearings from inside the aquarium-like glass box in which defendants are held in Russian courts.

    Russian entrepreneurs are frequent targets of shakedowns and shadowy schemes to steal assets, Russia’s own business ombudsman has said. Arrests are common. Today, about one of every 10 prisoners in Russia’s penal colonies are white-collar criminals.

    The government’s earnings from commodity exports like oil and natural gas, which flow regardless of what Russian courts do inside the country, have left it largely unconcerned about the country’s investment climate, economists noted. And an independent court system that would help investors could also weaken control over the political opposition.

    “Russia is in a situation which might be called investment pause,” Natalia Akindinova, a researcher at the Higher School of Economics, said in an interview.

    Well I don't know if he's guilty or not. Either version sounds plausible. But I do admire his composure.
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    Russian Economy General News: #12 - Page 14 Empty Atlantic Council

    Post  calripson Mon Aug 09, 2021 3:44 am

    flamming_python wrote:I remember this guy. American investor. When they put him on trail he was talking about how he has full confidence in the Russian courts and that they would give him a fair verdict Laughing



    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/06/world/europe/russia-american-investor-calvey-sentence.html
    Russia Doesn’t Send U.S. Investor to Jail but Still Sends a Warning

    Michael Calvey had long championed investing in Russia. His conviction on embezzlement charges alarmed business leaders, even if his sentence spared him prison.

    Michael Calvey, an American businessman working in Russia who had been convicted on embezzlement charges, maintained he was innocent and called the conviction “simply outrageous” after he was given a suspended sentence of five and a half years.

    The judge today simply repeated word for word, the text from the prosecutor’s case from October 2020, which itself repeated word for word, the text from the investigators, preliminary accusation from December 2019, there were literally hundreds of pieces of evidence that we submitted in court proving that my colleagues and I acted entirely legally and in the interests of our statutory body. The absence of any crime was confirmed also by all of the witnesses who testified in court, including even the witnesses for the prosecution, as the prosecutor himself admitted. We’ve always been realistic and pragmatic about the history and statistics of sentencing here. Compared to most cases, receiving a suspended sentence is already almost a victory. But on the other hand, it’s simply outrageous to be convicted of a crime that never happened.

    Michael Calvey, an American businessman working in Russia who had been convicted on embezzlement charges, maintained he was innocent and called the conviction “simply outrageous” after he was given a suspended sentence of five and a half years.

    By Andrew E. Kramer
    Aug. 6, 2021

    MOSCOW — A Russian court sentenced on Friday an American businessman who is one of the country’s most prominent foreign investors to a suspended sentence of five-and-a-half years in a penal colony for a conviction on embezzlement charges, in a ruling that could hurt Russia’s ability to attract foreign investment.

    The suspended sentence for the businessman, Michael Calvey, the founder of Baring Vostok, a private equity firm with $3.7 billion under management, means he will not spend time in Russia’s notoriously harsh penal colony system, the successor to the gulag camps, unless he violates parole conditions.

    But the threat of prison that still hangs over Mr. Calvey, and his six co-defendants in the case, was expected nonetheless to put a damper on foreign interest in doing business in Russia, where foreign direct investment is already complicated by weak property rights and Western sanctions.

    The sentence was seen as all the more concerning to business leaders because Mr. Calvey had consistently championed investment in Russia despite worsening relations with the West, even as many companies retreated from the country.

    Mr. Calvey, 53, founded Baring Vostok in the 1990s, soon after the collapse of communism, with the aim of bringing investors into Russia’s newly capitalist economy. Over its 27 years in business, the company attracted billions of dollars in private equity capital for Russian companies like Yandex, a search engine that competes locally with Google, and Ozon, an online retailer.

    The co-defendants, including Philippe Delpal, a French national and executive at Baring Vostok, were handed similar suspended sentences in the Russian prison system.

    The case sprang from a business dispute with shareholders of a Siberian bank.

    Prosecutors said Mr. Calvey and other executives at his fund embezzled 2.5 billion rubles (about $34 million) by persuading shareholders of the bank, Vostochny Bank, to accept a stake in another company at an inflated price.

    In his defense, Mr. Calvey argued that the bank shareholders had full access to information about the value of the shares when they accepted them in lieu of repayment for a loan and moreover that the case should have been decided by commercial arbitration.

    “I came to Russia and remained here because I loved this country from the start and believed that Russia has potential to become one of the world’s leading investment markets,” Mr. Calvey said in a closing statement at his trial last month.

    “I convinced investors to share my trust in the future of Russia,” he said. “Even after 2014, when the geopolitical climate worsened and sanctions were imposed on Russia, I continued to defend the image of Russia as an attractive country for work and investment.”

    Mr. Calvey’s push for investment continued despite two decades of government takeovers of companies, ruble devaluations and politically hued arrests, including that of Sergei L. Magnitsky, who died in pretrial detention and had been working as a lawyer for another prominent foreign investor, William F. Browder.

    Russia’s onetime richest man, Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky, the founder of an oil company, was twice convicted and sentenced to lengthy terms in the penal colonies.

    Conditions there are harsh. In one prison, Mr. Khodorkovsky was stabbed in the face with a homemade knife. The warden said another inmate was fending off an unwanted sexual advance, something Mr. Khodorkovsky denied.

    Mr. Calvey’s investment firm had focused on internet and retail start-ups that were benefiting from the wealth generated by the petroleum industry and finding success serving the country’s emerging middle class.

    The arrest and detention of Mr. Calvey and his colleagues in 2019 prompted fears that the executives of other American companies might be similarly arrested in a climate of tense relations with the United States. The seven executives were convicted in a Russian court Thursday and their sentences delivered Friday.

    Even in detention, Mr. Calvey continued to speak out in favor of the investment case for Russia, reading statements to that effect at hearings from inside the aquarium-like glass box in which defendants are held in Russian courts.

    Russian entrepreneurs are frequent targets of shakedowns and shadowy schemes to steal assets, Russia’s own business ombudsman has said. Arrests are common. Today, about one of every 10 prisoners in Russia’s penal colonies are white-collar criminals.

    The government’s earnings from commodity exports like oil and natural gas, which flow regardless of what Russian courts do inside the country, have left it largely unconcerned about the country’s investment climate, economists noted. And an independent court system that would help investors could also weaken control over the political opposition.

    “Russia is in a situation which might be called investment pause,” Natalia Akindinova, a researcher at the Higher School of Economics, said in an interview.

    Well I don't know if he's guilty or not. Either version sounds plausible. But I do admire his composure.

    I believe he was an active member of the Atlantic Council. That tells you everything you need to know.
    flamming_python
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    Post  flamming_python Mon Aug 09, 2021 4:18 am

    calripson wrote:
    I believe he was an active member of the Atlantic Council. That tells you everything you need to know.

    Didn't know, yeah that's pretty damning

    Still not really worth such a high-profile case just to send a message though. He didn't seem to be doing any harm at least, avoided making any political statements or critiques, pretty much just investing in Russian IT and industrial startups and had links to a range of Russian major businessmen, liberal and otherwise. He expressely avoided sectors of the economy that were politically sensitive. It wasn't just him that was put on trail either, but his Russian partners as well.

    The result is that a lot of foreign investors have been bringing up the case in discussions with Russian counterparts, even while investing in relatively safe fields, and they might not know about or make the connection with his political membership in the Atlantic Council or whatever else.
    miketheterrible
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    Post  miketheterrible Mon Aug 09, 2021 4:36 am

    Funny.

    So it should be allowed: embezzlement, theftetc etc because it could scare foreign investors? Maybe Russian government shouldn't touch any foreigner that invests in Russia if they murder someone because it could hurt all those other poor investors that maybe looking to murder a Russian too.

    If this is the case, I think Russia would do just fine without foreign investors.

    But I believe it won't damage anything but scre investors to become honest.  Russian market is huge and it just means more honest businesses will invest. Like in China. At least Chinese officials deal with corruption quite hard and they are still biggest in FDI
    flamming_python
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    Post  flamming_python Mon Aug 09, 2021 5:50 am

    miketheterrible wrote:Funny.

    So it should be allowed: embezzlement, theftetc etc because it could scare foreign investors?  Maybe Russian government shouldn't touch any foreigner that invests in Russia if they murder someone because it could hurt all those other poor investors that maybe looking to murder a Russian too.

    If this is the case, I think Russia would do just fine without foreign investors.

    But I believe it won't damage anything but scre investors to become honest.  Russian market is huge and it just means more honest businesses will invest. Like in China. At least Chinese officials deal with corruption quite hard and they are still biggest in FDI

    If he's guilty he should face the consequences, never said otherwise

    If he's not guilty then he shouldn't be prosecuted just because of his links with American politics and so on, so long as he's not breaking the law
    miketheterrible
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    Post  miketheterrible Mon Aug 09, 2021 8:05 am

    flamming_python wrote:
    miketheterrible wrote:Funny.

    So it should be allowed: embezzlement, theftetc etc because it could scare foreign investors?  Maybe Russian government shouldn't touch any foreigner that invests in Russia if they murder someone because it could hurt all those other poor investors that maybe looking to murder a Russian too.

    If this is the case, I think Russia would do just fine without foreign investors.

    But I believe it won't damage anything but scre investors to become honest.  Russian market is huge and it just means more honest businesses will invest. Like in China. At least Chinese officials deal with corruption quite hard and they are still biggest in FDI

    If he's guilty he should face the consequences, never said otherwise

    If he's not guilty then he shouldn't be prosecuted just because of his links with American politics and so on, so long as he's not breaking the law

    Actually, if he is involved in the politics side, he is guilty. Especially if he works with a group that's classified as black listed as it's a crime.  You are aware of that people like him fund revolts and other problems in Russia that causes more harm than good, right? Same people in Ukraine that turned Ukraine into a shit hole. You want that right? Cause you know, it's good for FDI ... Rolling Eyes

    If it's all political, kick him out and seize his assets in Russia.
    flamming_python
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    Post  flamming_python Mon Aug 09, 2021 8:34 am

    miketheterrible wrote:Actually, if he is involved in the politics side, he is guilty. Especially if he works with a group that's classified as black listed as it's a crime.  You are aware of that people like him fund revolts and other problems in Russia that causes more harm than good, right? Same people in Ukraine that turned Ukraine into a shit hole. You want that right? Cause you know, it's good for FDI ... Rolling Eyes

    If it's all political, kick him out and seize his assets in Russia.

    It could all just be a front and he's simply playing the part of a prolific investor while actually making contacts among the Russian business community with an eye to supporting sedition in the future

    But even then, that's still not a crime, it's not breaking any laws, nor is an investor building relationships with other business people anything out of the ordinary. If he's not meeting Navalny and funding him, or other political leaders, then he's innocent of that side of things as well. For the time being at any rate.

    Maybe the Russian govt knows something we don't but then the onus is on them to present evidence. As it is the prosecution has only pushed for a suspended sentence, so he won't actually be going to jail even though he's been found guilty. And it's caused a stir among foreign investors as well, this whole story.

    The only thing that matters is whether he broke the law as alleged or not. Everything else is BS.

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