Keep money in Russia, Putin says

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Those who take their funds abroad risk “losing everything,” according to the president

Russian President Vladimir Putin has called on the country’s businesses to invest at home so that they don’t have to search for ways to get their assets back from the West. Those who withdraw funds abroad risk “losing everything,” the head of state warned during his annual address to the Federal Assembly on Thursday.

Numerous Russian businesses that previously took advantage of investor-friendly legal systems in the West have seen their assets seized due to Ukraine-related sanctions.

“Of course, the fundamental requirement is that domestic businesses must operate in the Russian jurisdiction…” Putin stated.

He urged businesses to invest in the various regions of Russia, in the development of companies and personnel training. A strong, sovereign country will be the most reliable protection of assets and capital, Putin emphasized.

Talking about the Russian economy, the president said that the volume of investment in key sectors should grow by 70% over the next six years. “We have good dynamics here. The cumulative growth rate of investments in 2021 was 8.6%, and the plan was 4.5%. In 2022, the growth rate was 15.9% against the planned 9.5%. And over the nine months of last year, the increase was 26.6% versus the plan for the year of 15.1%.” 

“We must continue to move at a faster pace,” Putin said.

The country’s banking system and the stock market should ensure the flow of capital into the economy, including through the mechanism of project and equity financing, according to the president.

“In the next two years, industrial projects with investments of more than 200 billion rubles [$2.2 billion] will be supported using equity funds,” Putin noted.

The Russian stock market should strengthen its role as a source of investment, according to Putin. Its capitalization by 2030 should double compared to the current level and amount to 66% of GDP. “At the same time, it is important that citizens have the opportunity to reliably invest their savings in the development of the country and receive additional income,” the president concluded.

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