In September 2012, the government of the Russian Federation announced a change in import formalities.



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President Decree 'On the measures to protect interests of the Russian Federation in foreign economic activity of the Russian juridical persons.' -

'Strategic companies' list

FT - Kremlin shields Gazprom from EU probe:

Inception date: 11 Sep 2012 | Removal date: open ended

Import-related non-tariff measure, nes

On 11 September 2012, President Putin signed a Decree 'on the measures to protect interests of the Russian Federation in foreign economic activity of the Russian juridical persons'. This document aims to protect so-called 'strategic companies'* of the Russian Federation operating abroad. The Decree states that the provision of information about the companies' activity, changes to contacts and operations with assets requested by foreign entities is only allowed with the permission of a special agency controlled by the Russian government. The measure includes further that 'the federal agency of the executive power of the Russian Federation refuses to agree, if those actions can harm economic interests of the Russian Federation.' 
The measure discriminates against foreign commerical interests as transparency needs for a fair international competitive environment are no longer provided. 
The introduction of this measure is a direct reaction of the Russian Government on the situation around Gazprom (Russian Gas monopolist) and the European Commission. For example, the Financial Times reports: 'The state-controlled gas export monopoly accused the European Commission of using the anti-trust probe it launched last week to force the company to cut prices and unravel the formula, linked to the oil price, that governs its supply contracts to Europe, where it delivers about 25 per cent of the continent's gas needs'. Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov made the following statement with the respect to the situation around Gazprom and the EC: 'The actions of the European Commission ... can only be seen as an attempt by the 'Commission' to pressure Gazprom and influence prices and the results of commercial negotiations, which is clearly in breach of market principles.'
* The 'strategic companies' are listed in the President Decree from 4 August 2004 N 1009 (last changes made on 8 August 2012). These companies, according to the Russian Government, have a special meaning for the defence of the country as well as for the health and rights of the citizens of the Russian Federation.