Russia Plans Limits On Foreign Investment In 'Strategic' Sectors

Russia is drafting a law to limit foreign investment in "strategic" sectors of the country's economy including energy and weapons production, Economy Minister German Gref said March 2. "There will be a number of areas -- today it is a question of 39 types of activity -- where acquisition of a controlling interest by foreigners will require authorization" from the government, Russian news agencies quoted Gref as saying.

The new law comes after the government lifted restrictions earlier this year on foreign investment in the state-run energy giant Gazprom. He said a specific list of areas in which foreign investment would be restricted would be drawn up soon in order to ensure the Russian economy was "more transparent for foreigners."

The main areas would be production of weapons, military equipment and nuclear material including construction of nuclear sites. In the energy sector, access by foreign investors to deposits considered "strategic" would also be restricted, he said.

He said the government would set up a special panel to grant permission for foreign investors in particular projects.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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