Russia has barred investors from nations it deems unfriendly from selling shares in certain strategic enterprises through the end of the year, a move that further strains relations between Moscow and countries that have leveled sanctions against Russia for its war in Ukraine.
The ban went into immediate effect following a decree signed by Russian President
Friday and is part of a range of other special measures being enacted in the sphere of finance and fuel and energy, Russia’s state news agency, TASS, reported.
The restrictions cover the acquisition and sale of stakes in companies on a list of strategic enterprises and joint-stock companies and their subsidiaries, according to the executive order posted on the official government legal information website.
Included in the ban are the shares, rights and obligations of the Sakhalin-1 oil and gas project in Russia’s Far East, TASS reported. The operator Exxon Neftegaz, a subsidiary of the U.S.
Exxon Mobil Corp.
, owns 30% in it, the agency said, while Russia’s Rosneft owns 20%, Japan’s Sodeco 30%, and India’s
Videsh 20%, the agency reported.
Exxon said it was reviewing the decree but declined to comment on it. Earlier this week, the U.S. oil company said in a regulatory filing that it was in the process of transitioning its stake in the Sakhalin-1 project to another party, which it didn’t identify.
In addition to Rosneft, other strategic businesses approved by the presidential decree include the multinational energy corporation Gazprom, the state-controlled pipeline transport company Transneft, the hydroelectricity company RusHydro, and the diamond mining company Alrosa, along with several other joint stock companies and enterprises.
Mr. Putin’s decision also covers contributions to authorized capital, participation interests, rights and obligations belonging to the participants in production sharing agreements, joint venture agreements or other agreements on the basis of which investment projects are implemented in Russia, TASS reported. Assets owned by foreign persons from hostile states also fall under the new law, the agency said.
The government has 10 days to submit, for Mr. Putin’s approval, a list of banks and companies in the energy sector that will fall under the ban, TASS said.
Mr. Putin has the right to repeatedly extend the restrictions, according to the order.
Western leaders are preparing for the possibility that Russian natural gas flows through the key Nord Stream pipeline may never return to full levels. WSJ’s Shelby Holliday explains what an energy crisis could look like in Europe, and how it might ripple through the world. Illustration: David Fang
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Appeared in the August 6, 2022, print edition as ‘Moscow Curbs Western Investors’ Ability to Sell.’
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