Chairman of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Alexander Shokhin
Photo: Mikhail FROLOV
On the evening of Saturday, February 25, the Swedish EU presidency announced that the member countries of this union have agreed on a new package of sanctions against Russia. The EU plans to tighten export restrictions on dual-use goods and technologies. New natural and legal persons have also been added to the sanctions lists.
And the day before, on February 24, several countries announced new sanctions against Russia. The most ambitious restrictions were imposed by the United States: they affected the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, 11 banks and 1,200 soldiers.
It so happened that we discussed this burning issue even before the announcement of new sanctions, in Gostiny Dvor, where on Tuesday, February 21, the head of state made a speech to the Federal Assembly. Then Alexander Shokhin answered questions from journalists, among whom was a political observer from Komsomolskaya Pravda.
… – Alexander Nikolaevich, today Russian companies are more worried about sanctions from the West?
– A year ago, when the business met with the president, Vladimir Putin then emphasized a very important idea.
The best way to deal with restrictions, sanctions and restrictions is to really guarantee business freedom.
Restriction – restriction of the production, sale and export of goods, carried out with the aim of increasing prices and obtaining monopoly profit; restriction by banks and the state of the size of the loan in order to curb inflation.
– And what are you worried about now?
– Of course, we are also concerned about the excessive forceful pressure on companies, and the possibility of insufficiently effective protection of property rights, and the like.
And the president, saying this, was precisely responding to our comments related to the fact that the sanctions will be for a long time, and they will be deeper than any previously introduced, including, and not only against us, but also against other states … So , the main answer that Vladimir Putin sees (and we completely agree with him) is, in fact, the emancipation of entrepreneurship, the removal of the restrictions that exist and the prevention of the nationalization of the economy, plus the creation of a normal competitive situation.
And, of course, we (well, I personally) would like this thesis, which was expressed very clearly and clearly by the president, to be constantly confirmed in practice.
– In this sense, can the moratorium on inspections be extended?
– In December, at a meeting of the Strategic Development Council, the directions related to business support and development were also quite detailed.
Of course, a moratorium on inspections, yes.
Naturally, we understand that not all businesses are, so to speak, white and fluffy, and something needs to be reviewed so that there are fewer fires and man-made accidents and there is no harm to the health of citizens, if we mean the service economy.
But, nevertheless, we see that the role of preventive measures is also increasing here …
I think we are moving quite energetically here and in the right direction.
In addition, we now have a dialogue on the construction of a large block of topics related to licensing activities, the issuance of various types of licenses…
On the one hand, the right decisions were made here on the renewal of many licenses, the terms of which were expiring, and then, the procedures themselves were substantially streamlined, and everything is going digital, first of all.
And, secondly, the digital forms of pre-trial appeal against unfounded decisions of the bodies that issue the same permits.
And the same goes for supervision and control. Here, as they say, not only is there nothing to add, but there are no such radical ideas (even I have) about how something should be changed. Because the guillotine worked, and this two-year program of the government of Mikhail Mishutin on supervision and control activities also brought quite significant results.
– I mean, you support him.
– Yes, all business associations support this work and value it highly.