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Putin urges domestic business to avoid moving funds abroad lest they risk losing it all

The head of state added that any business that operates in Russia must have guarantees of the inviolability of their assets and new investments

MOSCOW, February 29. /TASS/. Domestic businesses should operate within Russia’s national jurisdiction and avoid expatriating their funds abroad, where they could risk losing everything, President Vladimir Putin said in his State of the Nation Address to the Federal Assembly, or Russian parliament.

"All government support measures for investment and the establishment and upgrading of enterprises must be linked to wage increases for employees, improved working conditions and social benefits packages for workers. And, of course, the fundamental requirement is that domestic businesses must operate within Russia’s jurisdiction and not transfer funds abroad," he said.

The head of state added that withdrawing funds earned in Russia from the domestic Russian economy in order to place them in jurisdictions abroad is fraught with the risk of "losing everything" due to the ever-increasing Western sanctions regime.

"Now, my colleagues from the business community and I meet and brainstorm about what we can do to help them extract something [of their stranded assets] from out of there. But there’s no need to divert them (corporate funds - TASS) there. And, then we wouldn’t have to resolve the problem of how to recover them. We need to invest resources in Russia, in the regions, in growing companies, in training personnel. Our strong, sovereign country itself is the most reliable protection for assets, for the capital of Russian businesses," he said.

Putin added that any business that operates in Russia must have guarantees of the inviolability of their assets and new investments, and government officials and law enforcement agencies should be helping business and not clamping down on it.

"No one - neither government officials nor law enforcement officers - is allowed to harass and put the squeeze on people, break the law or use it for their own personal gain. People, including those from the business community, and I’m talking about them now, need help. They create jobs, provide work, pay salaries to people. This is the true calling of the authorities - to help," Putin stressed.