On 11 September 2012, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a Decree that will significantly restrict the ability of so-called "strategic" Russian companies to carry out their foreign operations.
Decree 1285 "On Protection Measures for the Interests of the Russian Federation When Russian Legal Entities Perform Their Foreign Economic Activities" ("Decree 1285") requires that companies listed as "strategic" by the Russian government, as well as their subsidiaries, obtain permission from the Russian government before engaging in certain activities with foreign governments (including their regulatory and controlling bodies), international organizations and unions of foreign states. Specifically, when requested "by the bodies of foreign states or by international organizations, unions of foreign states, or bodies (institutions) of these organizations and unions", such companies and their subsidiaries must not, without prior consent of the Russian government:
(1) Provide to such "bodies, organizations or unions" information relating to their business activities;
(2) Amend contracts entered into with foreign counterparts, or amend any other documents related to their business policies, including pricing policies, in foreign countries; or
(3) Dispose of their (3.1) shares in foreign companies; (3.2) rights to conduct business in foreign countries; or (3.3) immovable property in foreign states.
Permission for such activities will be refused if it is deemed that they could harm the economic interests of the Russian Federation.
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© 2012 White & Case LLP