By Paul Goble
With the exception of a few high-profile cases, few have noticed just the large number of resignations by Westerners from Russian boards of directors as the sanctions regime has deepened, Vadim Sidorov says. But their exit will limit the ability of Russian companies to get loans and sell abroad, limiting further the economic prospects of the country.
Some former Western political leaders who have been named to Russian boards may have been given those jobs because of past or expected future services to the Kremlin, but many of them have been anything but decorative. They have helped these firms get loans and acquire market share, the Prague-based Russian analyst says.
Now, these firms, both officially government-owned and nominally private, will lose along with the departure of these Westerners the kind of loans they had received and the market penetrations they had achieved (trtrussian.com/mnenie/ishod-inostrancev-iz-rukovodstva-rossijskih-kompanij-chto-on-oznachaet-8307763).
In his article, Sidorov lists several dozen of these departures and suggests that they are likely to be followed out the door by other Westerners who will conclude that maintaining good relations with their own governments is more important than any incomes they may derive from serving on Russian boards.
He does not say, but it follows from his analysis, that the consequence of sanctions may prove to be far more important than many other more direct influences. Sidorov’s article is a model of the kind of record that more countries should be maintaining and of the kind of exit from Russian boards that they should be promoting.