- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Foreign investors in Russia won’t be allowed to sell their assets or withdraw more than $10,000 from the country in what officials in Moscow this week said is a temporary ban to halt capital flight from Russia.

The move, signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, was announced Tuesday by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin during a government meeting, the Reuters news agency said.

Russia has been hit with harsh economic sanctions from the U.S. and the European Union following its invasion of Ukraine less than a week ago. Several Western companies have announced plans to divest themselves of any role in Russian enterprises.

After operating in Russia for more than 30 years, BP announced that it would shed its 20% share in Rosneft, the Moscow-based energy company. In addition, BP executive officer Bernard Looney is resigning from the company’s board immediately, BP officials said.

Russia’s attack on Ukraine is an act of aggression which is having tragic consequences across the region,” BP Chair Helge Lund said in a statement. “It has led the BP board to conclude, after a thorough process, that our involvement with Rosneft, a state-owned enterprise, simply cannot continue.”

State governments also are ending their investments in Russian companies. On Tuesday, Connecticut Treasurer Shawn T. Wooden said the state would divest public funds from Russian-owned assets following the invasion “in solidarity with the Ukrainian people.”

Connecticut’s retirement fund holds Russia-domiciled investments worth more than $218 million in equity and fixed income, state officials said.

“The Ukrainian people are experiencing an assault on their freedom and suffering devastating human loss due to an unprovoked and unjustified attack by the Russian government,” Mr. Wooden said. “We cannot stand idly by as the humanitarian crisis unfolds and Russian markets crumble. I cannot continue to invest these pension funds in a way that runs counter to the foreign policy and national interests of the United States.”

Citing the Institute of International Finance, a trade group that represents large banks, Reuters said Russia is “extremely likely” to default on its external debts over the economic sanctions that have been leveled against them.

• Mike Glenn can be reached at mglenn@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide