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Business Under FSB Oversight

It’s tough to think of another country whose intelligence services are as deeply involved with foreign investment and private sector business than Russia. From Reuters:

Russia has also been strengthening its hand with a proposed law on foreign investments in strategic industries, including energy, which could give it very significant powers should it decide to use them. “If strictly interpreted, then this piece of legislation seems to be very far-reaching, with potentially most acquisitions becoming subject to FSB (Russia’s Federal Security Service) approval,” said Steve Wardlaw, a lawyer at Baker Botts, specialised in Russia and its former satellites. “In reality, we would hope that its interpretation is limited to the kind of strategic review process that exists in countries such as the United States.”

The current trend does not indicate this conclusion.