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Russia Needs More than Optimistic Tweets

This one comes the editorial page of the Financial Times:

After its energy-dependent economy shrank by 7.9 per cent last year – the most among the world’s dozen largest economies – Russia is again wooing investment. While it may attract large portfolio flows and foreign lending in coming years by dint of being a fast-growing emerging economy, foreign direct investment, bringing vital technology and skills, continues to lag. It has been lower in Russia as a proportion of output than, say, China or nearby Poland. FDI slumped by 41 per cent last year.

Mr Medvedev’s verbal commitment to investor-friendliness is therefore welcome. But dispelling suspicion will take more than optimistic tweets. Investors will want concrete evidence of improvement in its legal climate, attitudes and behaviour. Not to mention the way Russia treats her neighbours.