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The voice of big business

Ben Aris spoke to Arkard Volsky, chairman of the Russian Union for Industrialists & Entrepreneurs about the influential pressure group of top businessmen.

Arkard Volsky

What is the RUIE?

It is a typical organization similar to those in most countries in the west that defends the interests of industrialists and big business. The union was set up in 1895 when it was called the Russian Imperial Union of Industrialists and Merchants.

About 10 years ago it was representing the interests of mostly state-owned enterprises - what the press calls "red directors" - but as time moved on we now represent mostly private enterprises.

Who are the members?

There are 178 members in all who elect a bureau of 27 people that set the policy. In the bureau there are 14 so-called oligarchs. The bureau is in permanent contact with president Putin.

What does the RUIE do?

This year we set up nine working groups to discuss the most pressing issues for business and the economy.

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