Yury Trutnev (file photo) (ITAR-TASS)
January 31, 2007 -- The Russian government today gave tentative approval to draft legislation that would restrict foreign investors' access to sectors of the economy that are deemed strategic.
The new rules would apply to oil and gas fields and mineral deposits, as well as military hardware, aviation, and atomic energy.
Russian media reports said that under the new rules, foreigners who wanted to acquire a controlling stake in an enterprise defined as strategic must apply to a government commission.
The commission would coordinate approvals with the Federal Security Service, and in certain cases the president would have the right of veto.
Natural Resources Minister Yury Trutnev told the cabinet 10 oil and 26 gas fields as well as several mineral deposits would be designated as strategic. He said foreign investors would not be allowed to acquire a controlling stake in their development.
But he also said existing arrangements with foreign companies would not be reviewed.
Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov said the legislation would be fine-tuned in the coming weeks.
(ITAR-TASS, Interfax, AP)