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2 Jun, 2008 23:15

Russia regulates foreign investment in 42 ‘strategic’ sectors

Vladimir Putin has signed a law giving him final say on foreign bids to buy Russian companies in 42 ‘strategic’ sectors including oil, gas, media and telecoms. He insists the bill is designed to help – not block – foreign investors.

Putin is to head a state commission controlling foreign investment.

“The new law on foreign investment in no way bans investors, but rather creates for them maximum transparency and clarity of procedures,” he stated.

Experts can understand the government holding on to sectors it considers nationally sensitive, but believe 42 is casting the net too wide.

Cracks are already appearing in the government line. Finance Minister Alexey Kudrin admits the number of strategic sectors is too long and has vowed to fight for a smaller list.