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Russia Seizes $250M From Business Exodus ‘Contributions’ – RBC

Russia has expropriated 20 billion rubles ($250 million) in “voluntary contributions” into its budget from foreign businesses that have left the country in the past four and a half months, the RBC news site reported Monday.

Hundreds of mostly Western companies have either fully exited or scaled back operations in Russia since it launched a full-scale offensive on Ukraine 14 months ago.

Russia’s windfall from “voluntary contributions,” dated from December 2022 to April 19, 2023, compares with 3 billion rubles ($37 million) collected each year between 2015-20, with 2021 marked by zero such contributions.

Since December, Russia’s commission on foreign investments has charged foreign companies an exit fee totaling 10% of the value of the sale.

It announced revised rules in late March imposing a direct donation to state coffers, exposing foreign companies to criticism that their exits would help fund Russia’s war effort.

“The main difference between the new rules and the previous ones is that the companies do not have a choice anymore,” Nektorov, Saveliev & Partners law firm partner Ilya Rachkov told the Financial Times at the time.

“It is a real property seizure,” Rachkov said.

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