Putin turns West's boycott into super-profits for his elite - media

Putin turns West's boycott into super-profits for his elite - media

Russian dictator Vladimir Putin has managed to turn the departure of Western companies from the Russian market into a "gold mine": if companies want to leave Russia, Putin sets conditions that are favorable to his government and elites.

According to Ukrinform, Globo reported this.

As noted, after the start of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, hundreds of companies began announcing their withdrawal from Russia. Politicians and activists predicted that this would help suppress the Russian economy and undermine the Kremlin's military efforts.

But Putin had other plans, the publication says. He turned the departure of large Western companies from Russia into super-profits for the Russian elite loyal to him and the state itself. He forces companies that want to sell Russian businesses to offer a reduced price, and sometimes simply seizes their property.

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According to the NYT, Western companies that have announced their withdrawal from Russia have declared more than $103 billion in losses since the start of Russia's war with Ukraine, according to an analysis of financial statements conducted by the publication.

"Putin is squeezing as much of that money out of the companies as possible by dictating the terms of their exits," the report says.

The dictator has also imposed ever-increasing taxes on these exits, which brought in at least $1.25 billion last year to the Russian military treasury, the NYT notes.

At the same time, no deal is "safe," the publication adds. For example, the Dutch beer company Heineken found a buyer in the spring and set a price. But, according to NYT sources, the Russian government unilaterally rejected the deal and transferred the Russian assets to a local loyal producer.

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All in all, Putin has overseen one of the largest redistributions of wealth in Russia since the collapse of the USSR. Huge industries - elevators, tires, industrial coatings, etc. - are now in the hands of Russian players who are increasingly dominant, the report says.

As reported, the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Kyrylo Budanov, believes that the Russian economy will last only until 2025 in the face of war.

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