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Can foreign investors weather another round of Russia sanctions?

If the current geopolitical tensions escalate into military action, even the most hardened foreign investors might start looking for an exit from Russia.


Ten years ago, a veteran Moscow broker told Euromoney that the financial crisis had been the final straw for less committed international investors in Russia. As he put it: “The tourists are long gone.”

Since then, Russian capital markets have been through the bursting of a consumer credit bubble in 2013, the Ukraine crisis and sanctions by the West in 2014, followed swiftly by the collapse of oil prices, further sanctions in April 2018, and the Russia-related turmoil of the US presidency of Donald Trump.

Clearly, any foreign investors still involved in the market are not of a nervous disposition. So, it came as little surprise that the announcement on April 15 of new sanctions on Russia by the administration of president Joe Biden, including a ban on participation in domestic government bond auctions, caused barely a ripple in either the bond or currency markets.

Any foreign investors still involved in the market are not of a nervous disposition

Of course, this is not the end of the story. The latest round of sanctions was primarily a response to alleged interference in the 2020 US presidential election and cyberattacks by groups linked to the Russian government such as that on Texas software firm SolarWinds last year.


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