Are Investors Right to Flee Russia?

Bogdan Kipling of he Halifax Chronicle Herald thinks the answer is yes:

PRO-CON: Should Vladimir Putin’s autocratic maneuvers stifle foreign investment in Russia? Yes Foreign investors wisely are beginning to beat a retreat from Russia as Vladimir Putin expands his apparently limitless appetite for power. In late August, Russia’s central bank announced that its foreign currency reserves — a highly accurate barometer of investor unrest — had dropped $16.4 billion in a single week. Reports indicate the investment hemorrhage is continuing and for good reason — the threat of Putin reneging on his nation’s commitment to foreign capital. The final straw for Western capitalists was the Kremlin’s refusal to release Mikhail Khodorkovsky from his Siberian prison even though he is eligible. Khodorkovsky, the richest man in Russia, CEO and founder of Yukos Oil, was arrested at Moscow’s Novosibirsk Airport on Oct. 25, 2003, on what Western human-rights observers said from the start were trumped-up charges of fraud and tax evasion. This latest chapter in a continuing human-rights tragedy tops a laundry list that could be recited to show how Putin and his supporters go about scaring foreign investors out of Russia.