Russia Set to Update List of ‘Systemically Important’ Companies

As the coronavirus outbreak has practically halted a major part of economic activity in Russia, the country’s Ministry of Economic Development has updated the list of companies which can be in line for state financial support, Fedpress reports.

On April 2, the authorities published a list of 646 “strategically important” companies, which will be closely monitored and, if necessary, considered for special government aid, due to their considerable input into the economic stability of the country.

Among others, the list features energy corporations (Gazprom, Rosneft, LukOil, Rosatom), airline companies (Aeroflot, S7, Ural Airlines, Pobeda), airports (Sheremetyevo, Domodedovo, Pulkovo), agricultural and beverage producers (Makfa, Danone, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestle, Miratorg, Ehrmann), grocery store chains (Vkusvill, Lenta, Azbuka Vkusa, Metro, Billa), retail stores (IKEA, Sportmaster, H&M, Fix Price), online retailers (Ozon, Lamoda, Wildberries), IT companies ( Group, Yandex) and even fast food chains (McDonalds, Burger King, PizzaHut, KFC).

Apart from receiving state aid, these companies might also receive a moratorium (or a “suspension of payments”) on bankruptcy for six months, same as companies working in industries most affected by the pandemic.

This week, the Ministry announced that the list will be further updated and released on April 10.

According to Russia Beyond, the list in general also prompted active public discussion. Some believe that it’s ultimately flawed, because it features Western corporations and alcohol producers, while others claim that it only reflects the reality of the Russian economy.

“It shows the main ‘bricks’ that keep the economy afloat and doesn’t take into account individual entrepreneurs and people in general,” one commentator said.

“Coca-Cola, Mars, KFC, Burger King are indeed Western, but we forget that they all work with our raw products and, if they leave our market, it won’t be good for us,” another user wrote.

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