Russian oligarch arrested and the Kremlin’s ‘special regime’

Did you miss the latest events on the war in Ukraine? 20 minutes takes stock for you every evening at 7:30 p.m. Between the strong declarations, the advances on the front and the dramatic results of the fighting, here is the gist of the day.

The fact of the day

The Kremlin said Tuesday it was ready to “protect the rights” of Russian businessman Alexei Kuzmitchev, taken into police custody the day before in France. “We must be informed about the detention of a citizen of the Russian Federation through our diplomatic mission,” Russian presidential spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters. “After receiving the information, and if the detainee wishes, we will of course help protect his rights as a Russian citizen,” he continued.

Oligarch Alexeï Kuzmitchev was arrested on Monday in Saint-Tropez (south) and searches were carried out “in several places”, notably in the Var and at the Parisian home of the person concerned, indicated a judicial source, confirming information from the newspaper The world. He was placed in police custody in a preliminary investigation entrusted to the Anti-Corruption Office (Oclciff), opened in particular for laundering tax fraud and violation of international sanctions.

The number of the day

335. This is in millions of euros the amount that the European Commission should pay to Ukraine for the reconstruction of its destroyed infrastructure according to Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, reports the Kyiv Post.

Sentence of the day

I can guarantee that without our support, Putin will be victorious. »

American Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke bluntly this Tuesday, during a Senate hearing devoted in particular to aid to Ukraine. “If we pull the rug out from under their feet now, Putin will only become stronger and he will succeed in doing what he wants: taking possession of his neighbor’s sovereign territory,” he added.

Today’s trend

Russia defended on Tuesday “the special regime” reserved for foreign companies wanting to leave the national market. “Given the quasi-war that is being waged against Russia by the collective West, including the economic war, there is of course a special regime for these Western companies that are leaving Russia,” the president told the press. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. “Obviously, there can be no free exit,” he added.

These comments come after the publication by the British economic daily The Financial Times information ensuring that the Russian authorities have now prohibited Western companies that sell their assets in Russia from withdrawing the proceeds of the sale in dollars and euros. This new restriction should therefore push companies to carry out operations in rubles, a means of supporting the national currency which has been in difficulty for several months and weighed down by sanctions.

In fact, the list of obligations for foreign companies wanting to leave Russia is growing. A special Russian government commission must approve all major transactions involving companies from countries labeled “unfriendly.” In addition, foreign groups must sell their assets at a discount of at least 50% compared to the market price and pay an exit tax to the Russian state of 15% of the estimated value of the asset concerned. Not to mention that the personal approval of Russian President Vladimir Putin is required for all transactions in the strategic sectors of energy and finance.

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