MOSCOW, January 15 (RIA Novosti) – Foreign investors deliberately bankrupted defense firms in the 1990s and Russia must act to prevent a recurrence, the head of Russia’s Investigative Committee said.
“The problem was that foreigners were involved directly or indirectly with the privatization process. They bought … defense companies and then bankrupted them,” Alexander Bastrykin said in an interview with Russian newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta published on Wednesday.
He accused foreign investors of seeking to destroy Russian competitors through the bankruptcies. “That’s the best case. Somehow it went unpunished, and they only recovered with great difficulty. We don’t want to repeat that [experience].”
Bastrykin said that issues with current defense projects are caused by “foreign investors who deliberately impede the completion of state defense orders.”
He proposed drafting legislation to make the ultimate identity of investors public during any privatization process.
The measure “will not lead to a deterioration of the investment climate in the country, as existing legislation already limits foreign investment in strategic enterprises,” he said.
Bastrykin added that such a law would be supported by a number of concerned agencies including the Federal Security Service, Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Federal Antimonopoly Service.