Kuznetsov Alexey
Russian direct and indirect investment in the Baltic Sea region [Text] / / A. Kuznetsov // BSR Policy Briefing. 2018. 7. P. 2-11
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The article analyses dynamics of Russian outward foreign direct investment (OFDI), especially in nine countries of the Baltic Sea region. Special attention is paid to the current period of the Russian investment expansion which began in 2014. After the drop in oil prices, coup d’etat in Ukraine and the start of ”sanctions wars” with Western countries Russian OFDI is seriously influenced by economic stagnation in Russia, several geopolitical factors and changing strategies of gradually maturing Russian MNEs. Examples of many Russian MNEs in the Baltic Sea region show different attitude to Russian investors in various countries of this region. Infrastructure sector has become the most politically sensitive field of Russian OFDI. However, it is not correct to investigate new trends in Russian OFDI in the region only by estimates of Russophobers’ influence. Indeed, there are several significant Russian ”migrant” MNEs in the Baltic Sea region (e.g. SPI Group of Yuri Shefler, Ritzio International of Oleg Boyko and Food Union of Andrey Beskhmelnitsky) which moved their headquarters to the EU due to various problems of development in the Russian home market. In general, the structure of the Russian OFDI stock in the Baltic Sea region is really diversified. In comparison to the post-Soviet area which is another neighbouring region for Russia some industries in the Baltic Sea region are not popular with Russian investors yet. It can be explained both by economic factors (e.g. high level of competition in banking or telecommunications) and by investment protectionism (especially in post-socialist countries). It should be stressed that only the increase in mutual trust can help positive changes in dynamics and structure of Russian OFDI in countries of the Baltic Sea region. It is also necessary to establish an efficient OFDI insurance system in Russia which can protect Russian MNEs against political risks in Western countries. 

Keywords: OFDI | Russian MNEs | Baltic Sea region | geographical and industrial structure of FDI | European Union | investment protectionism | trans-shipping FDI | investments in infrastructure |



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